With the Olympic Games now in full swing, this series from SwimSwam looks at some of the leading news outside of swimming as athletes around the globe contest their Olympic events in the Japanese capital. Paralympic news will feature ahead of the Games which are due to begin in Tokyo on August 24th.
Belarus Track Athlete Accuses Olympic Team of Removing Her From Tokyo
A sprinter from Belarus, Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has claimed that her Olympic Committee attempted to remove her from Tokyo by force.
According to Tsimanouskaya, her coach woke her early on Sunday morning, claiming that he had been told she must return to Belarus despite the fact she had yet to compete in her event, the 200-meter. She was told to pack her backs and was taken to the airport where she was set to board a flight to take her to Minsk. After refusing to enter the plane, she was able to get in touch with officials from the International Olympic Committee. She told officials that she feared being placed in prison after arriving in Belarus due to her criticism of the Olympic staff’s decision to use her as a member of the 4×400 meter relay.
Tsimanouskaya is one of many of the country’s celebrities who have experienced issues with the government after questioning the actions of Alexander Lukashenko, the longtime president. Because of this, the country’s neighbor, Poland, has frequently taken in citizens seeking safety from the government. Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz, said on twitter that Tsimanouskaya would receive a, “humanitarian visa and is free to pursue her sporting career in Poland if she chooses.” She is currently staying within the Polish embassy in Tokyo.
Poland 🇵🇱 is ready to help Kryscina Tsimanouskaya a Belarusian athlete ordered by the Lukashenka regime to return form Olympic Games to Minsk. She was offered a humanitarian visa and is free to pursue her sporting career in Poland if she so chooses.
— Marcin Przydacz (@marcin_przydacz) August 1, 2021
Australian Rugby and Rowing Teams Criticized for Damage to Olympic Village
Following the end of their competition period in Tokyo, members of Australia’s rugby and rowing team landed themselves in hot water after causing damage to their Olympic Village rooms.
As the two sports teams wrapped up their competition in Tokyo, they engaged in what was referred to as “drunken antics” that resulted in cleaners being required to clean vomit from the rooms. Athletes still participating in competition, including those from their own country, complained about the partying that the two teams participated in across Friday and Saturday night.
According to a spokesman from the Australian Olympic Committee:
“A few individuals did leave their rooms in a messy and unacceptable state prior to departing back to Australia. Two apartments had minor damage, one each involving athletes from the men’s rowing and rugby teams. The CEOs of both organisations have apologised to the AOC and have made their own enquiries into the athletes’ behaviour.”
According to Australia’s ABC Sports, the Olympic Village wasn’t where the partying ended. The news company reported that the nation’s rugby team, along with it’s soccer team, continued their behavior throughout a flight back to Australia.
Australia's Rugby and football players are being investigated by their sports' governing bodies after the Australian Olympic Committee made reports of unnacceptable behaviour on a July 30th flight back from Tokyo. #Tokyo2020
— ABC SPORT (@abcsport) August 3, 2021
Georgian Judo Fighters Have Tokyo Olympic Access Revoked Following Sightseeing Tour
While athletes in Tokyo have been warned that leaving the Olympic Village will result in consequences, Vazha Margvelashvili and Rasha Shavdatuashvili traveled outside the Village to meet with a friend, resulting in the loss of their Olympic credentials.
The pair of athletes had concluded their Olympic competition that saw both take home silver medals in their respective weight classes. Both athletes had already returned to their country prior to the loss of their credentials, meaning the decision had no effect on the pair.
They are among at least 6 who have been expelled from the Games so far for violations of COVID-19 safety protocols, including 4 Olympic contractors.