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2 coaches were removed from the Tokyo Olympics in Belarus

Four days after being involved in the attempt to send Krystina Tsimanouskaya, a Belarus team coach, two of them were removed from the Olympics.

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2 coaches were removed from the Tokyo Olympics in Belarus

Friday's announcement by the International Olympic Committee stated that Yury Maisevich and Artur Shimak had been revoked and their credentials removed.

The IOC stated that the two coaches had been asked to leave the Olympic Village as soon as possible.

The Olympic body stated that it was an interim measure in a formal investigation, "in the interests of the well-being of the athletes."

After the IOC connected them to Tsimanouskaya's transport in a car to the airport, Shimak and Maisevich maintained contact with Belarusian athletes.

Tsimanouskaya had previously criticized team coaches via social media. She is currently in Poland on a humanitarian visa.

According to the IOC, Shimaks and Maisevich will be given an opportunity to be heard by the disciplinary commission that is investigating the case.

It is not clear if the men will stay in Japan or leave for Belarus, an authoritarian ex-Soviet republic that pursues its critics relentlessly.

Since Aleksander Lukashenko won a sixth term as president, Belarus has been in chaos for over a year. This was after the state election that many considered rigged in his favor.

From the 1990s to this year, Lukashenko was also the leader of the Belarusian Olympic Committee. Viktor, his son, was elected to succeed him.

After hearing complaints from athletes that they were intimidated and faced reprisals, the IOC banned Lukashenkos from the Tokyo Olympics in December.

However, activists in Belarus and international athletes' groups criticized the IOC for its sanctions against Belarus.

This would have allowed Tsimanouskaya, and the rest the 103-member Belarusian team to compete independently under the Olympic flag.

When asked Friday by Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, about how Olympic officials dealt with Belarus, he said that it wasn't in a position "to change the political system" in that country.

Bach stated that it was "what our responsibility and our remit" to protect athletes "as much as possible," and described the Tokyo incident as "deplorable."

Alexander Lukashenko couldn't attend the 2012 London Olympics due to a ban by the European Union on visas. This was in response to a previous crackdown following a disputed election.

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