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Ivan Kulyak is facing disciplinary action from the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) after appearing wearing the Russian war symbol on the podium at a World Cup event in Doha.
Russian gymnast Kolyak took third place in the tournament held in Qatar, which was won by Ukrainian Ilya Kovtun against the backdrop of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
As the athletes stood on the podium, Kolyak was seen with a “Z” pinned to the front of his shirt – a symbol said to mean “victory” in Russian and seen on tanks participating in the invasion.
The letter ‘Z’ was the place for the Russian flag, which was banned by the gymnastics governing body, and the federation confirmed it was now asking the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation to investigate the incident.
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“The International Gymnastics Federation confirms that it will ask the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation to open disciplinary proceedings against artistic gymnast Ivan Kulyak (Russia) after his shocking behavior at the World Cup in Doha, Qatar,” the statement said.
“FIG adopted further measures against Russia and Belarus on March 4. From March 7, 2022. Belarusian and Russian athletes and officials, including judges, are not allowed to participate in FIG competitions or competitions authorized by FIFA ( FIG).”