- Ivan Kulyak wore the pro-war “Z” symbol on his chest during a medal award ceremony in Qatar in March.
- He stood by his Ukrainian rival at the time and has since defended his actions.
- On Tuesday, the gymnastics board banned Kolyak from competing for at least a year.
The Russian gymnast wore a Pro-war “Z” symbol While standing by his Ukrainian opponent, he was banned from sports for a year and ordered to return his medal.
In March, Ivan Kulyak, 20 years old, Show the code on the platform During the medal ceremony at the Mundial Hardware World Cup in Doha, Qatar. It was the same symbol Painted on the side of Russian military vehicles Invasion of Ukraine and since then they have been co-opted by people supporting the invasion.
During the ceremony, Kolyak, who won the bronze medal in the final of the parallel columns of the competition, stood out inches From his competitor, Ukrainian Kovtun Ilya, who won the gold medal.
Immediately after the competition, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) criticized Kolyak, calling his behavior “shocking” and calling for disciplinary action against the athlete.
In a statement on TuesdayFIG said Kuliak’s stunt violated its code of conduct and banned him from competing in the sport for a year, retroactively disqualified him from the Doha competition, and ordered him to return his medal.
FIG also ordered Culliac to return his CHF500 prize money ($502) and pay another CHF2,000 ($2011) for the cost of the proceedings.
The union was on the 4th of March already blocked Athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus may not join any event or competition organized by FIG or its affiliate for an indefinite period of time.
In its statement on Tuesday, the FIG said it would ban Kuliak until May 17, 2023, and that if the ban on Russian athletes was still in place, Kuliak’s ban would continue for another six months.
FIG added that Kuliak can appeal the decision within 21 days of being notified.
Russian athletes have been banned from their sports since the invasion of Ukraine.
In February, the International Olympic Committee, which organizes the Olympic Games, He called for athletes to be banned from Russia and its ally Belarus. FIFA, football’s governing body, also has Banning Russian teams from international competitionWhich means that the men’s team will miss the 2022 World Cup.
Wimbledon He also banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in this summer’s tennis tournament.
Russian athletes were also punished for supporting the war in Ukraine. Yevgeny Rylov, the swimmer who won two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, was last month Swimming competitions are prohibited For nine months to attend a rally in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
After receiving backlash for wearing the “Z” symbol, Kolyak He seemed to blame his Ukrainian opponents To create an “uncomfortable” atmosphere in the competition he said he would display the icon again.
“If there was a second chance and I had a choice of whether or not to come out with a ‘Z’ on my chest, I would do the same,” Kolyak told Russian state media.
“I saw it in our army and looked at what this symbol means. And it turned out to be ‘for victory’ and ‘for peace’. I just wanted to show my place. As an athlete, I will always fight for victory and play for peace.”
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