Paralympics: Belarus delegate banned after carrying Russian flag at ceremony

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A member of the Belarus delegation who carried a Russian flag at the Paralympic opening ceremony to support his country's near-neighbor that is banned from the competition was stripped of his accreditation, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said on Thursday.

The man, identified by Russian media as Andrei Fomochkin, director of the Republican Centre of Olympic training for Athletics in Belarus, was hailed as a hero by both Russian and Belarusian officials. But his action fell foul of the IPC's ban on political gestures.

"The IPC will be speaking to NPC Belarus this morning to remind them that political protests are forbidden at the Paralympic Games," the IPC said in a statement, adding that the individual had been identified and his accreditation cancelled.

The statement did not name the person.