Gymnast faces action after appearing to wear Russian war symbol


close up of hands and rings

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Ivan Kuliak is facing disciplinary action from the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) after appearing to wear a Russian war symbol on the podium during a World Cup in Doha.

Russian gymnast Kuliak finished third in the event in Qatar, which was won by Ukrainian Illia Kovtun amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As the athletes stood on the podium, Kuliak was seen with a “Z” taped to the front of his shirt – a symbol believed to mean “victory” in Russian and seen on tanks taking part in the invasion.

The ‘Z’ stood in place of the Russian flag, which had been banned by gymnastics’ governing body, and the federation confirmed it was now asking the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation to investigate the incident.

“The International Gymnastics Federation confirms that it will request the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation to initiate disciplinary proceedings against male artistic gymnast Ivan Kuliak (RUS) following his shocking behavior at the Apparatus World Cup in Doha , in Qatar,” a statement read.

“The FIG adopted new measures against Russia and Belarus on March 4. As of March 7, 2022. Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials, including judges, are not allowed to participate in FIG competitions or FIG-sanctioned competitions.”


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