MINSK, 2 August (BelTA) – A decision to withdraw Krystsina Tsimanouskaya from the 200m and 4x400m relay qualifying races was made on 1 August, Yuri Moisevich, the head coach of Belarus' national athletics team, said in an interview with the STV channel on 1 August.
“Since the Athletics Integrity Unit declared two members of our relay team ineligible to compete, we were to pick up substitutes. We were not going to withdraw from the relay. After all, we earned this spot. We have the right to choose substitutes from among the athletes of the team, who are here, in Tokyo. There is such a rule. They are members of the team, and it is an honor to compete for the national colors. So, we have two runners – Elvira Herman and Krystsina Tsimanouskaya. We talked to Elvira Herman's coach explaining the situation. He said that he was not against it and that she would not mind it either. But since she was due to compete in the hurdles he asked us not to announce the decision for the time being to help her maintain focus. It is understandable. An athlete is focusing on one discipline. When asked to do one more event, his/her mind may start playing games. So we submitted an application, as we were pressed for time, we had a deadline. Tsimanouskaya said that she could not get through to us. She could have waited an hour or two till we came back from the stadium. Instead she took to social networks and started lashing out at us for not consulting with her. Maybe, it was the lack of graces, maybe it was the way she saw the situation. In fact, we were going to tell her about it, explain it, especially since she was a reserve athlete,” Yuri Moisevich said.
“Our anti-doping organization or the World Anti-Doping Agency usually picks up a limited number of top elite athletes in their respective registered testing pool for a year. These athletes are subject to whereabouts requirements. However, our young athletes were of no interest; therefore they were not included in the testing pool. Yet, the team performed unexpectedly well at the European championship in Romania. The relay team won the European Cup, though First League, and qualified for the Olympic Games. Athletes coming from ‘Category A' Federations are required to pass three out-of-competition doping tests with an interval of 21 days before the start of the Games. This pertains only to ‘Category A' Federations. Other countries can do it even two days before the Olympics. When we realized that we could not meet the 21-day requirement, we sent a letter to the World Anti-Doping Agency asking to make an exception for us and to allow us to take this test with an interval of 20 days. One athlete had an interval of 19 days. However, they took a tough decision to declare ineligible all our athletes who did not meet the 21-day requirement,” Yuri Moisevich said.
“Our triple jumper Viyaleta Skvartsova once showed her civic position. During the awards ceremony at the European U20 Track and Field Championships she walked off the podium when the wrong anthem started playing. Now, you know what she said? When I was talking about the current situation she said she could compete in the 4x400m relay. The jumper is ready to run the relay! Elvira Herman also ran 200m events. She had this routine as part of her training regime.
“Our triple jumper Viyaleta Skvartsova once showed her civic position. During the awards ceremony at the European U20 Track and Field Championships she walked off the podium when the wrong anthem started playing. Now, you know what she said? When I was talking about the current situation she said she could compete in the 4x400m relay. The jumper is ready to run the relay! Elvira Herman also ran 200m events. She had this routine as part of her training regime. We proceed from the results an athlete has produced. We take into account their training programs. Here, everything depends on a person and their attitude, their understanding of what the situation is, what a team spirit and honor are. I would have run myself if I could,” he said.