A Polish draughts official on Wednesday (April 28) apologized for rushing to remove the Russian flag from a player's table in the middle of a match during the Women's World Draughts Championship in Warsaw a day earlier, a moment that sparked outrage in Russia.
"I'm sure that many Russians are upset about what happened, it was not pleasant. This gaffe yesterday, the flag being removed under the spotlight of cameras, it was not nice but we meant no harm. I understand that many Russians are upset and for that I am truly sorry. We never had any bad intentions, " said tournament organizer Jacek Pawlicki.
The participant, Tamara Tansykkuzhina, had been playing under the Russian flag for the whole tournament until Tuesday (April 27), in contradiction to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) sanctions on Russian sports competitors over doping accusations.
WADA called the organizers of the championship demanding they remove the flag immediately, threatening further sanctions, organizers told Reuters.
That prompted one official to rush to the table in the middle of the match to take the flag away, breaking protocols that require draughts games to take place largely in silence and without interruption.