Athletics-AIU charges Belarusian coach for breaching code of conduct

Belarus' athletics head coach Yuri Moisevich, involved in attempting to send sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya home from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, waits to board a flight to return home, in Tokyo, Japan August 6, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

(Reuters) - Belarusian coach Yury Maisevich was charged by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) on Thursday for allegedly breaching World Athletics' Integrity Code of Conduct during the withdrawal of Krystsina Tsimanouskaya from the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021.

Tsimanouskaya, 26, was forced out of the Olympics by her national team after criticising coaches for entering her in an event that was not her customary distance.

She defected from Belarus during the Games and took refuge in Poland after the Olympics. In August last year, she said in an Instagram post that she had been awarded Polish citizenship.

"Maisevich did not act with integrity and acted in bad faith; failed to safeguard the athlete's dignity and his actions constituted verbal and mental harassment; and that he brought athletics generally into disrepute," the AIU said in a statement.

"This matter was referred to the AIU by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Athletics (WA) on 30 September 2021.

"Maisevich was one of two Belarusian officials whose Olympic accreditation was revoked by IOC regarding this situation. The other official, Artur Shumak, has not been charged."

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Nashik, India; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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