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Russian gymnast receives 1-year ban for wearing pro-war symbol

Posted at 1:53 PM, May 18, 2022

The International Gymnastics Federation announced Tuesday that the Russian gymnast who wore a symbol on his uniform in support of Russia's invasion of Ukraine was handed a one-year ban.

In March, Ivan Kuliak won the bronze medal in parallel bars at the Apparatus World Cup in Qatar.

As he stood on the podium, he displayed the “Z” symbol, which was taped to his chest, the Associated Press reported.

According to the news outlet, supporters of the war have displayed the symbol, which was also seen on Russian tanks and military vehicles.

Ukrainian gold medallist Illia Kovtun was standing next to Kuliak on the podium.

"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 said in a news release.

Along with the ban, Kuliak must also return the bronze medal, pay a fine of 500 Swiss francs and pay legal costs of 2,000 francs.

The 20-year-old has 21 days to appeal the decision.