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Russian gymnast sparks outrage by wearing pro-war ‘Z’ symbol on chest

Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak sparks outrage by placing a “Z,” a pro-war symbol for Russia’s invasion, on his shirt at a competition in Doha, Qatar.

Kuliak stands on the podium with the symbol on his chest next to Ukrainian gymnast Illia Kovtun, who won the competition. Kuliak places third and Kazakhstan’s Milad Karimi takes the silver medal.

The International Gymnastics Federations says “it will ask the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation to open disciplinary proceedings against Ivan Kuliak following his shocking behavior.”

Starting on Monday, Russia and Belarus will be banned from international gymnastics competitions. Russian athletes are banned from most international forums.

The “Z” symbol represents the Russian phrase for victory and has been painted on Russian vehicles and equipment in Ukraine and featured in Russian pro-war propaganda.

Russian gymnast wears a pro-war “Z” symbol on his chest at a competition in Doha, March 6, 2022. (Twitter screenshot)

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