June 13, 2024

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‘Shocking behaviour’: Russian gymnast displays ‘Z’ on podium next to Ukrainian winner | Gymnastics

Russian gymnast Ivan Kulyak, who was wearing a badge associated with the invasion Ukraine On the medal platform, he was called “for his shocking behaviour”.

Kolyak’s shirt had the letter “Z” in a prominent place while standing next to Ukraine’s Kovtun Ilya, gold medalist in the Gymnastics World Cup event in Doha.

The letter “Z”, a letter not found in the Russian Cyrillic alphabet, was seen inscribed on Russian tanks and vehicles in Ukraine and came to symbolize support for the invasion.

Kolya, the former junior world champion, won the bronze medal on Saturday.

Ukraine's Ilya Kovtun won the gold medal against Ivan Kulyak in third place.
Ukraine’s Ilya Kovtun won the gold medal against Ivan Kulyak in third place. Photo: Claro Sports

“The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) confirms that it will request the Foundation for Gymnastics Ethics to open disciplinary proceedings against Ivan Kolya after his shocking behavior at the World Cup Apparatus in Doha, Qatar,” a statement from the Governing Council read.

It had already been decided to ban all Russian and Belarusian gymnasts from participating in future competitions from Monday.

“FIG adopted further measures against Russia and Belarus on March 4,” FIG said in a statement. “As of March 7, 2022, Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials, including judges, are not allowed to participate in FIG competitions or competitions authorized by FIG.”

In making its decision, FIFA said it had taken into account the latest recommendations from the International Olympic Committee, the position of the Athletes Committee and the “deep concerns” and positions expressed by several national gymnastics federations.

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The Russian invasion was condemned worldwide, pushed more than 1.5 million Ukrainians to flee abroad, and triggered sweeping Western-led sanctions designed to cripple the Russian economy. On Sunday, eight civilians were killed outside the capital, Kyiv, when Russian forces bombed a bridge as they tried to flee to safety.

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