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Belarus Team Carries Russian Flag At 2016 Paralympics Opening, Risks Sanction From IPC

One of the members of the Belarusian Paralympic team carried the Russian flag during the opening of the Paralympic Games to express solidarity with the Russian team, which was banned from the event.

According to the Guardian, the flag in question was subsequently confiscated, and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was said to be considering its next steps.

2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Athletes from Belarus take part in the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. - RTX2OKNI

The action took place during the parade of athletes on Wednesday. The flag appeared in response to the IPC’s decision to ban all 267 Russian athletes from the Games, after the body cited the country’s failure to comply with anti-doping rules.

The man who was holding the flag managed to carry it for a dozen of metres before the flag was confiscated. The IPC said it will find out the identity of the “protester” and consider disciplinary measures.

When the decision about the ban of the Russian team had been announced, the head of the Belarusian Paralympic Committee, Oleg Shepel, was reported to have said that he wanted to show solidarity with the banned Russian athletes. The official later denied this, saying that his words had been misunderstood or interpreted.

The IPC Belarusians then warned that such behavior would be considered as a political gesture.

2016 Rio Paralympics - Opening ceremony - Maracana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/09/2016. Fireworks erupt during the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. - RTX2OL4E

The Paralympic Games opened in Brazil on Wednesday night.