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IOC announces launch of formal investigation into Belarusian sprinter’s case

International Olympic Committee Spokesman Mark Adams stressed that the IOC needed to establish the full facts and to hear everyone involved
International Olympic Committee Spokesman Mark Adams EPA/CYRIL ZINGARO
International Olympic Committee Spokesman Mark Adams
© EPA/CYRIL ZINGARO

TOKYO, August 3. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to launch a formal investigation into the case of Belarusian track and field athlete Kristina Timanovskaya, IOC Spokesman Mark Adams told reporters.

On August 1, Belarus’ National Olympic Committee announced that the national track and field team coaches had decided to send Timanovskaya back home due to her psychological condition. She was supposed to take part in the 100m and 200m race events. Two Belarusian female runners were suspended from the 4x400 relay for failing to undergo the requisite number of doping tests and the coaches moved to engage Timanovskaya, who lashed out at the decision on her social media.

"We have asked for a report by the NOC [of Belarus] today…We have decided to launch a formal investigation, which will be led by the IOC administration. We need to establish the full facts, we need to hear everyone involved and that obviously can take time," Adams pointed out.

Timanovskaya has received a Polish humanitarian visa and is currently at Poland’s embassy in Tokyo.

"She is planning her future. She is in a safe and secure place. We have also now contacted the NOC of Poland … in terms of what the IOC can do," the IOC spokesman said.

Belarus’ opposition Sports Solidarity Foundation said earlier that Timanovskaya was being forced to leave Tokyo because of her criticism of the national track and field team’s coaches. The athlete told Euroradio that she intended to seek asylum in Europe. She also asked the International Olympic Committee for help via social media.