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Opinions & Interviews

8 Sep 2016

Eismont: Carrying Russian flag in Rio reflects Belarus’ position

Eismont: Carrying Russian flag in Rio reflects Belarus’ position

MINSK, 8 September (BelTA) – Carrying the Russian flag in the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro reflects the country’s position, Belarusian President spokeswoman Natalya Eismont told BelTA.

She noted that the move was the idea of the Belarusian delegation. “Still, I stress that it reflects the country’s position, including that of the head of state and the president of the National Olympic Committee. People with disabilities are internationally-minded, and I think it will not be an exaggeration to say that Paralympians are one big family where ethnic background is of little importance. In this context, the move of our Paralympians is absolutely understandable, and we stand in full solidarity with the Russians,” Natalya Eismont said.

She noted that no confirmed evidence was provided to support the doping allegations against Russian athletes, “and people for whom sport is more than just sport, for whom sport is their life, were banned from the Games.” “This is the position of our country and the President,” Natalya Eismont emphasized.

Media reported earlier that the International Paralympic Committee identified the Belarusian man who carried the Russian flag at the Paralympics opening ceremony, but did not officially disclose his name. However, some media said that was Director of the Belarusian Athletics Olympic Training Center Andrei Fomochkin. The International Paralympic Committee is considering how to address the matter.

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