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How the Belarusian Authorities Managed to Create a Mega-scandal Out of the Blue

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How the Belarusian Authorities Managed to Create a Mega-scandal Out of the Blue
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya

The regime may be subject to new IOC sanctions.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya's case can be easily decomposed into several stages, at each of which it was possible to either correctly resolve the situation or greatly aggravate it. At all the junctions, the second option was chosen, writes Salidarnasts.

The organizers did not allow three Belarusian athletes who arrived in Tokyo to compete due to non-observance of the rules regarding the number and frequency of doping tests. Among the suspended were two runners, Krystsina Mulyarchyk and Hanna Mikhailava who were supposed to participate in the relay race 4 x 400 meters.

Deputy Minister of Sports Aliaksandr Baraulya explained this incident by "circumstances." But there are other versions as well.

“Due to the incompetence of some people in charge of all this, they just miscalculated the days. Because there must be at least 21 days between samples. Unfortunately, we didn't calculate it right. They took a sample from me on the 20th day. Because of this mistake, we have to miss the Olympics,” said Krystsina Mulyarchyk.

That is, the scandal simply should not have happened if the Ministry of Sports was able to cope with elementary arithmetic operations at least with the "C" grade level.

To formally take part in the relay, the Belarusian sports leadership decides to close the gap with the help of Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who specializes in distances of 100 and 200 meters, but not 400 meters. The coaches do not inform the athlete: she learns about the decision from other sources and writes an angry post.

“I would never react so harshly in my life if they came up to me in advance, explained the whole situation, and asked me if I can run 400 meters and I am ready. But they decided to do everything behind my back, despite the fact that I tried to find out this information but was ignored,” said Krystsina Tsimanouskaya.

In general, the problem could have been solved by communicating with the athlete in time. But the Ministry of Sports does not only know how to count but to talk at the very moment when it is necessary.

Tsimanouskaya's post would have been forgotten in a day or two. However, the authorities themselves generously splashed gasoline on the barely smoldering coals. First, the athlete was criticized on state TV channels. And then the top officials decided to arrange a demonstrative whipping, having recalled Tsimanouskaya from the Olympics ahead of schedule. But the athlete, instead of obediently proceeding to the plane, turned for help and got into the top news of the largest media in the world. As a result of the fact that Tsimanouskaya was not allowed to run 200 meters, she fled to the West - a great job of the sports (and not only) leadership of Belarus!

As a result, the mini-scandal turned into an international one. To prevent this from happening, it was enough just to do nothing. But even this simple art was inaccessible to those in charge.

This is how the results of many years of negative selection are manifested - when “loyal people” are appointed to key positions instead of professionals. Moreover, at all levels at once:

- first, an ordinary employee screwed up with doping tests;

- then the middle-level officials considered that the athlete can be used as they please, without explaining anything to her;

- and then, at the leadership level (higher than the Minister of Sports, known, by the way, not for achievements in this area but for serving in the protection of Aliaksandr Lukashenka), the fateful decision was made to recall Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, which turned a minor misunderstanding into a global crisis that could lead to new sanctions by the International Olympic Committee.

Officials, of course, will still try to switch the arrows to the runner. But, even if we leave out the scandal with Tsimanouskaya, the current Olympics looks like a failure for Belarus in purely sports results: there are only 2 medals in 10 days of the Games. It has never been so bad. And this is the result of the activities of the entire system - from clerks to Aliaksandr Lukashenka - in a field that is one of the main priorities of the country's leadership.