FIG slams Russian Ivan Kuliak with one year ban

by Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has banned Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak for one year from all FIG-organised events and other affiliate bodies The Trumpet gathered.

According to the pronouncement by the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation (GEF), the disciplinary organ of FIG, Kuliak will have to forfeit his bronze medal earned in the parallel bars final and repay the prize therewith.

Kuliak in a FIG competition in March, Apparatus World Cup, in Doha, Qatar, was found to have indented a ‘Z’ symbol on his chest. A symbol which has been promoted by Russia since its military invaded Ukraine.

GEF stressed that Kuliak violated FIG rules in doing so which necessitated a corresponding sanction but handed a 21-day appeal lifeline to the Russian gymnast.

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The 20-year-old Russian gymnast was found to have displayed the symbol on the podium close to the competition’s gold medalist, Ukrainian Illia Kovtun.

Although nothing was found against the head of the Russian delegation, Valentina Rodionenko and coach Igor Kalabushkin, FIG added, “If the protective measures keeping Russian athletes from competing are still in place on 17 May 2023, the ban shall continue and expire six months after the removal of said measures.”

If Kuliak fails in his appeal, he will therefore repay 2500 Swiss francs as the prize money and the contributions to the costs of the proceedings.

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