ParalympicsGB officials have denied suggestions that the team staged a deliberate protest against the controversial London 2012 sponsor Atos at Wednesday night’s opening ceremony.
As the team marched around the track to a tumultous reception, several Twitter users noted that none had their lanyards visible.
The straps of the accreditation badges worn by all athletes, officials and the media bear the name of Atos, which also has its branding on billboards in the venues.
Whereas other teams had theirs on show, the entire Paralympics–GB contingent seemed to have theirs tucked inside their jackets so the Atos branding could not be seen.
But officials said that the lanyards had simply been tucked inside the distinctive Next-designed outfits because it had been noted that they were flapping around in the wind before the athletes entered the stadium.
The IT giant has been heavily criticised by campaigners for its part in carrying out “fitness to work” tests on disability benefit claimants.
On Friday, UK Uncut activists are planning to target the company’s central London offices, and the London organising committee was on Thursday again forced to defend the involvement of Atos.
“They are one of our sponsors. We do support our sponsors. Without them, we don’t have a Games,” said a Locog spokeswoman.
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