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This article was published 25/5/2012 (1584 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It may sound like a corny pro wrestling angle - but Winnipeg's Chris Jericho has found himself in the middle of a real-life international incident.
Jericho has been suspended for 30 days by World Wrestling Entertainment for attacking a Brazillian flag during a match in that country Thursday night. The company put a time limit on the suspension Friday afternoon after initially saying it was "indefinite."
According to the official WWE website, Jericho "denigrated" a flag that somehow found its way into the ring. He stomped on it, crumpled it up and then kicked it - a major no-no in Brazil where desecration of the flag is grounds for arrest and incarceration.
That's when things really got strange. Police who were doing crowd control rushed the ring and threatened to arrest Jericho, who was forced to apologize on the spot to the crowd or else be marched directly to jail. He was then escorted out of the ring, out of the building and out of the country. No formal charges have been laid as of Friday morning.
Word of the incident quickly spread as websites like tmz.com carried the story. WWE responded immediately by announcing that Jericho was being pulled from upcoming shows for what they called an "irresponsible act". Officials with the publicly traded company also issued a formal apology to the Brazillian government, and Jericho soon followed with his own mea culpa.
"I made a bad judgment call in the course of entertaining fans in Brazil," Jericho said in a statement posted at wwe.com. "I apologized to the people in the crowd for showing disrespect. It was a bad move. I did it with our fans' entertainment in mind and I'll accept the consequences for that."
Jericho later posted an apology on his Twitter account (@IAmJericho), telling fans "Just for the record I love Brazil and wish we could've spent more time here. Beautiful country!"
Jericho has soared to international success, both with his pro wrestling career and even a guest starring role on "Dancing With The Stars." He has also toured the world with his band, "Fozzy", and is widely considered one of the best active wrestlers in the world.
Jericho's father, Ted Irvine, is a former National Hockey League player who lives in Winnipeg.