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Exclusive-Belarusian skiers blame politics after being barred from competition

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By Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber MOSCOW (Reuters) – Two Belarusian cross-country skiers, including one who hoped to compete at next month’s Beijing Winter Olympics, say authorities have barred them from competition after sports officials accused them of supporting the country’s political opposition. The skiers, Sviatlana Andryiuk and Darya Dolidovich, are the latest elite athletes to be targeted since a crackdown on critics of veteran leader Alexander Lukashenko after a 2020 presidential election his opponents say was fraudulent. Lukashenko has denied rigging the vote. The skiers said the Belarus …

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