Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak handed one-year ban for wearing pro-war symbol on podium

IANSUpdated: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 07:34 PM IST
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Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak | Pic: Twitter

Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak has been given a one-year ban for displaying wearing a pro-war symbol in the 2022 World Cup, the world gymnastics' governing body said on Tuesday.

Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak has been given a one-year ban for displaying a symbol on his uniform supporting the invasion of Ukraine.

Kuliak has been sanctioned for violating International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) rules "when he wore the letter 'Z' during the FIG Apparatus World Cup that took place in Doha in March 2022," the federation said in a statement.

Kuliak, 20, has been also "disqualified from the Doha FIG Apparatus World Cup", and the FIG ordered that he will return the bronze medal that he won.

After winning a bronze medal in the parallel bars, Kuliak appeared on the podium in a uniform that had a letter Z taped to his chest - a symbol adopted to show support for Russia's war on Ukraine. The 20-year-old Kuliak had stood next to a gold medalist from Ukraine on the podium in Doha, Qatar.

"If the protective measures keeping Russian athletes from competing are still in place on 17 May 2023, the ban shall continue and expire six months after the removal of said measures," the federation's disciplinary commission said in its ruling.

The commission found that Kuliak breached federation statutes of discipline, ethics, code of conduct and technical regulations "when he wore the letter 'Z' on his singlet during the competition and the award ceremony."

He would also return his prize money, which was 500 Swiss francs ($501), according to the statement. Kuliak can appeal against the decision within 21 days.

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