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IOC investigates Belarusian officials following Timanovskaya situation

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Olympic executives to investigate allegations that Belarusian officials attempted to force sprinter home during Tokyo Olympics.

Kristina Timanovskaya safe at Tokyo’s Polish Embassy following Belarusian officials ordeal.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has launched a formal investigation into the situation of Belarus track athlete Kristina Timanovskaya, following allegations that Belarusian officials attempted to force the sprinter home during her Olympic campaign.

Timanovskaya claims that she was removed from competition against her will after criticising her coaches on social media for entering her into the 4×400 meter relay without her consent. 

Mark Adams, a spokesperson for the IOC, says the committee is waiting to receive all sides of the story with the Belarusian National Olympic Committee expected to release a report. 

“These things take time…but we need to get to the bottom of it,” Adams said in a press conference. 

As quoted by the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation, the track athlete says she isn’t concerned about being removed from the team, but rather fears for her welfare.

“I’m afraid that in Belarus, I may be imprisoned. I’m not afraid of being fired or kicked out of the national team. I worry about my safety.

Kristina Timanovskaya

While Timanovskaya remains in Tokyo, she will soon fly out to Poland after receiving a humanitarian visa following her public plea for help. 

https://twitter.com/franakviacorka/status/1422161535082893314
Tweet by Franak Viacorka, Senior Advisor to Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

Timanovskaya has told the BBC that she is safe, but unable to comment further. 

More details on the investigation to come.

Written by Rebecca Borg

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Sport

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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