Russian gymnast handed 1-year ban for wearing pro-war symbol on podium

Ivan Kuliak appeared with letter Z taped on his chest to support Russia's war on Ukraine

Can Erözden   | 18.05.2022
Russian gymnast handed 1-year ban for wearing pro-war symbol on podium File Photo


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

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.

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.

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.

At least 3,752 people have been killed and 4,062 injured in Ukraine since Russia began its war Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is believed to be much higher.

More than 6.2 million people have fled to other countries, with 7.7 million people internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.

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