FIG to issue disciplinary action against Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak for donning war symbol

Russian gymnast Kuliak finished third at the World event in Qatar, which was won by Ukraine's Illia Kovtun.

Ivan Kuliak
Ivan Kuliak

Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak is set to face disciplinary action from the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) for wearing a national war symbol ‘Z’. This incident took place while he was sharing the podium with his Ukrainian competitor Illia Kovtun at the parallel bars World Cup event in Doha.

Kuliak, who finished third, wore the war symbol on his chest when he went on stage to collect his bronze medal. However, this caused a massive uproar across the sports fraternity and now the FIG has announced that Kuliak will face disciplinary action for his behaviour. 

The FIG on Sunday issued a statement, confirming that the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation will open disciplinary proceedings against the 20-year-old Kuliak for his behaviour in Doha. Notably, the apex body had already banned all Russian and Belarusian athletes from taking part in FIG competitions or FIG-sanctioned competitions.

The decision will come into practice from March 7 (Monday) onwards when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) urged all sporting bodies to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from taking part in international sporting events. 

FIG’s official statement on Ivan Kuliak episode

FIG released a statement condemning Kuliak’s actions and confirming the imminent suspension of Russian and Belarusian athletes from international competitions, saying:

“The International Gymnastics Federation confirms that it will ask the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation to open disciplinary proceedings against male artistic gymnast Ivan Kuliak (RUS) following his shocking behaviour at the Apparatus World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

“The FIG adopted further measures against Russia and Belarus on 4 March. From 7 March 2022. Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials, including judges, are not allowed to take part in FIG competitions or FIG-sanctioned competitions.”

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