A Russian gymnast who taped a ‘Z’ war symbol to his chest while sharing the podium with his Ukrainian rival has been banned from competing for a year.
Ivan Kuliak, 20, wore the symbol – which has come to represent support for Putin’s war on Ukraine – while receiving a bronze medal in the parallel bars at a gymnastics world cup event in Qatar back in March.
Standing just a few feet away was Ukrainian athlete Ivan Kuliak, who won gold.
The International Gymnastics Federation has now ruled that Kuliak breached multiple codes by wearing the symbol, and will be banned from competing for at least a year.
The ban will last until May 2023 unless rules forbidding the wearing of Russian flags and playing of the anthem – put in place in reaction to the war – are still in place.
If the restrictions are still in place, then the ban will continue until six months after they are lifted.
Kuliak has also been disqualified from the World Cup, must return his bronze medal, and must repay his prize money of around £400.
He must also pay costs for the investigation, which amount to £1,600.