Rio de Janeiro, Sep 8 (IANS) The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has revoked the accreditation of a Belarusian athlete for carrying Russia’s flag during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Games as a gesture of solidarity with the country banned from the Games.
“The IPC has cancelled the accreditation of the individual who carried the Russian flag as part of the Belarus delegation in the OC (Opening Ceremony) Rio 2016,” IPC spokesman Craig Spence wrote in his Twitter account on Thursday.
President of the Belarusian Paralympic Committee Oleg Shepel earlier said that the Russian flag gesture at the opening ceremony, held on Wednesday at the Maracana Stadium here, was to express solidarity with the entire Russian Paralympic team, which was barred by IPC from taking part in the 2016 Rio Games.
Last month, the Belarusian Paralympic delegation informed IPC that it intended to carry the Russian flag alongside the Belarusian flag at the opening ceremony, but the world’s governing body of Paralympic sports replied with a refusal.
On August 7, IPC decided to bar the whole Russian Paralympic team from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics. The ruling came on the heels of a report delivered earlier in the summer by the Independent Commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).