Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak has been banned from competition for one year for displaying a 'Z' sign on his vest at the Apparatus World Cup in March.
The event in Qatar saw Kuliak take the bronze medal in the parallel bars, with the 20-year-old lining up next to Ukrainian gold medallist Illia Kovtun for the medal ceremony.
The 'Z' symbol has been used by Russian forces invading Ukraine, and has also been worn by supporters of the invasion.
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In a statement, the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) said: “Mr Kuliak breached the FIG statutes, the FIG code of discipline, the FIG code of ethics, the FIG code of conduct and the FIG technical regulations when he wore the letter ‘Z’ on his singlet.
“[He] is not allowed to participate in any FIG-sanctioned event or competition organised by an affiliated FIG member federation for one year as of the date of this decision.”
At the time, Kuliak had remained unrepentant on his stance.
He said: "If there was a second chance and I would again have to choose whether to enter with the letter ‘Z’ on my chest or not, I would do exactly the same.
Image credit: Eurosport
"I saw it on our military and looked at what this symbol means. It turned out to be ‘for victory’ and ‘for peace’. I didn’t wish anything bad on anyone. I just showed my position.
"As an athlete, I will always fight for victory and play for peace.”
Kuliak has 21 days to appeal the decision, which has also seen him stripped of his bronze medal and prize money of 500 Swiss Francs (£410).
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