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Belarusian sprinter taken to airport to leave Tokyo

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Belarusian athlete is fearing for her safety after criticising her coaches and being ordered to return home early

The 24-year-old sought police protection when arriving at an airport terminal in Japan so she would not have to board the flight back to Belarus.

She was due to compete in the Women’s 200-metre event this week but had complained online about being forced into another race at short notice.

Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya is escorted by police officers at Haneda international airport in Tokyo, Japan August 1, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato

She told the International Olympic Committee that she was “put under pressure to compete” and has asked for urgent assistance.

The IOC says it is seeking clarification from Belarusian officials who earlier said she was removed due to her poor “emotional and physical condition”.

State media has criticised the athlete saying she lacks “team spirit” whilst several other countries including the Czech Republic and Poland have offered her refuge.

It comes as the nation’s leaders cracked down on anti-government protestors, with some national-level athletes stripped of funding, cut from national teams and arrested.

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Team USA to require vaccination for 2022 Winter Olympians

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Staff and athletes will be required to be fully vaccinated before the Beijing Winter Olympics, according to a policy announced by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) announced the policy on Wednesday.

The USOPC won’t consider unvaccinated athletes for the Beijing games, who will need to provide proof of vaccination by December 1st. The Winter Olympics will begin on the 4th of February next year.

The Associated Press obtained the letter CEO Sarah Hirshland sent to athletes and staff detailing the decision to implement the policy for future Olympic and Paralympic Games, starting with the 2022 Tokyo Winter Olympic Games.

“Effective Nov. 1, 2021, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee will require all USOPC staff, athletes and those utilizing USOPC facilities – including the training centers – to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” Hirshland wrote.

“This requirement will also apply to our full Team USA delegation at future Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Athletes will be given the opportunity to apply for an exemption, and Hirshland hopes most COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted in time for the Games.

“The stark reality is that this pandemic is far from over,” Hirshland wrote.

“This step will increase our ability to create a safe and productive environment for Team USA athletes and staff, and allow us to restore consistency in planning, preparation and service to athletes.”

The USOPC also revealed data on vaccination rates at the Tokyo Olympics via their website, with 83% of Team USA, and 86% of international athletes at the Olympic Village being fully vaccinated.

Athletes previously weren’t required to be vaccinated by the International Olympic Committee to attend the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, although they encouraged athletes to get vaccinated.

-by Parker McKenzie

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UEFA shuts down FIFA proposal

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UEFA has urged FIFA to stop pushing its plan for a two-year World Cup and instead to engage in “genuine consultation” about reform of the international match calendar

FIFA is currently conducting a feasibility study into holding the tournament on a biennial basis.

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The proposal would signify a switch from the current four-yearly cycle. But FIFA has made no secret of its desire to switch to such a format.

epa08868644 A handout photo made available by FIFA of the World Cup Trophy during the European qualifying draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in Zurich, Switzerland, 07 December 2020. EPA-EFE/Kurt Schorrer / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

It follows Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s head of Global Football Development, says he was “100 percent convinced” to the switch.

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Major League Baseball has told a team to stop testing for Coronavirus

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A Boston Redsox outfielder said that MLB told his team struggling with COVID-19 to treat symptoms, instead of testing

The Boston Redsox have nine players who have tested positive with coronavirus.

When questioned about the situation on WEEI’s Merloni & Fauria show, Refroe said the league had instructed the team to stop testing for the virus.

“MLB basically told us to stop the testing and just treat the symptoms,” Renfroe said.

“We’re like ‘No. We’re gonna figure out what’s going on and try to keep this thing under control.'”

When the bewildered host asked Renfroe to confirm if Major League Baseball had asked the team to stop testing, he confirmed “yes”.

Major League Baseball quickly released a statement to Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe saying Renfroe’s claim was incorrect.

“He (Renfroe) is completely wrong and inaccurate.” the statement said.

The Red Sox are currently missing shortstop Xander Bogart, starters Nick Pivetta and Martin Perez, outfielder Jarren Duran, and closer Matt Barnes because of the outbreak.

The Redsox have released a statement saying they have followed league COVID restrictions, and will continue to test. The team is currently under the 85% vaccinated threshold to ease restrictions imposed by the league.

-By Parker McKenzie



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