MOSCOW, September 8. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has invited journalists from The Guardian to Russia to meet with Russian Paralympians following their hostile comments on the appearance of the Russian flag at the Rio Paralympics’ opening ceremony.
"I want to officially invite representatives of The Guardian to Russia to meet with Russian Paralympians. If you can write such things sitting in your warm and cozy offices, I think you will have enough strength, courage and conscience to look into the eyes of these people," she said.
"The colour, noise and goodwill on show during the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games was punctured when the Belarus team mounted a protest against the International Paralympic Committee’s decision to ban Russia from Rio 2016," The Guardian wrote.
During the parade of nations on Wednesday, a member of the Belarusian team’s delegation carried Russia’s flag along with their national flag as a gesture of solidarity with the Russian team barred from the Games amid the doping scandal.
On August 7, the 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).
The commission, led by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, claimed in particular that a total of 35 doping samples were concealed in the Russian Paralympic sports between 2012 and 2015. However, it turned out later that not all the stated cases of concealed doping samples concerned the Russian Paralympic Committee. Nevertheless, the IPC decided on collectively punishing the Russian national team.
The RPC filed a lawsuit with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on August 15 in Lausanne against the IPC’s decision, but eight days later, the Swiss-based court ruled to uphold the ban slapped on the whole Russian Paralympic squad.
In late August, the RPC submitted a motion with the Supreme Federal Court of Switzerland appealing the decision made earlier by the CAS. The motion was eventually rejected by the federal court.