Russian gymnast who wore ‘Z’ symbol appeals one-year ban

  • Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak has appealed his one-year ban from the sport.
  • The 20-year-old was banned for wearing a pro-war ‘Z’ symbol on his outfit during a medal ceremony.
  • He did it while standing next to a Ukrainian competitor who had beaten him.

The Russian gymnast who wore a pro-war ‘Z’ symbol as he stood next to a Ukrainian man at a medal ceremony has appealed his ban from the sport for a year.

In March, about two weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Ivan Kuliak displayed the symbol on the podium after winning bronze in the Apparatus World Cup parallel bars final in Doha, in Qatar.

Illia Kovtun of Ukraine won gold in this event.

The “Z” symbol was painted on the side of Russian military vehicles invading Ukraine and was promoted by people supporting the invasion.

An image of Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak and his Ukrainian rival Ilia Kovtun.

Kuliak was standing next to Ukrainian Illia Kovtun when he displayed the symbol.

Screenshot/YouTube/Euronews


As a result of his actions, in May the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation (GEF) Disciplinary Panel banned Kuliak from competing in the sport for a year and ordered him to return his prize money of approximately $500.

According The official Russian TASS news agencythe 20-year-old has now appealed the decision.

“Kuliak has filed an appeal with the Appeals Tribunal of the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation against the decision of the Disciplinary Committee to disqualify him for one year,” Vasily Titov, president of the Russian Gymnastics Federation, told TASS. artistic (FSGR).

GEF confirmed to Insider that an appeal has been filed by Kuliak.

Kuliak has previously defended his decision to wear the “Z” symbol on his chest during the ceremony, saying he would do the same thing again if given the chance.

“If there was a second chance and I had the choice to go out with the letter ‘Z’ on my chest or not, I would do the same,” he said.

“I saw it on our military and looked up what that symbol meant. It turned out to be ‘for victory’ and ‘for peace’. I just wanted to show my position. As an athlete , I will always fight for victory and I will play for peace.”

James V. Hayes