Following a tricky Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro for the Russian national team, the country's athletes found themselves delayed at the city's Galeão airport for four and a half hours, after a giant matroyska doll – which the team were desperate to take home – became stuck in the terminal gates.

The doll was taken from the Russian pavilion at the Olympic complex and was intended for the aircraft's luggage compartment, but the giant souvenir would not fit.

Dmitry Simonov, who is deputy editor of the Sport-Express newspaper, tweeted regular updates of the plight of the oversized Russian emblem – also known as a nesting doll.

He wrote on the micro-blogging site: "A matryoshka doll from the Russian House got stuck in the airport doors :))) nobody understands what to do with it)))."

Images were posted showing the matryoshka next to the plane apparently carrying the Russian Olympic team.

Eventually, baggage handlers succeeded in loading the doll on board, although it was not fully explained how it was carried through the gate, reported Russia Beyond the Headlines.

Although finishing fourth in the overall medals table, the Russian team has been beset with problems, including a ban on track and field athletes and its weightlifters due to doping allegations. However, the country's athletes performed well, finishing fourth in the table and winning 56 medals, including 19 gold.

However Russian sport suffered a further blow on Tuesday 23 August when it failed in its appeal against its exclusion from the Paralympic Games in the wake of a damning report into the country's state-run doping programme.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected the challenge by The Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC). Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the ban was a "cynical decision."

Dmitry Simonov tweets in Russian 'Matryoshka' with an image of the doll outside the plane @dmitriy_f1re