21. March 2022  
Moscow, RUS  
Artistic Gymnastics

FIG is considering a year's ban for provocation at the World Cup in Doha

According to statements by the Russian head gymnastics coach Valentina RODIONENKO to the Russian press, the World Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is considering a one-year disqualification of the gymnast Ivan KULIAKbecause of the incident of political provocation at the award ceremony at the Gymnastics World Cup in Doha as well as the responsible coaches Rodionenko and Igor Kabushkin. Instead of removing official Russian state symbols from his jersey for the award ceremony, gymnast Kuliak covered them with a "Z" (symbol of the Russian invasion of Ukraine). Since Russia is already excluded from all FIG events until further notice, this additional individual sanction will hardly have any effect. Kuliak himself seems unrepentant in his comments to Russian media and public appearances, and is even being hailed as a hero by many people in Russia! Earlier this week, he was among a select group of athletes (* see photo, left) invited to Putin's pro-war rally in Moscow, where he appeared with the "Z" in the colors of the Russian flag on his chest.
* Source: r-sport