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Alexei Nemov, One Of Russia's Most Celebrated Gymnasts, Defends Ivan Kuliak For Wearing The Russian Pro War Symbol At Doha World Cup

Russian Olympic gymnast Alexei Nemov, who is one of the most celebrated gymnasts of all time, defended compatriot Ivan Kuliak over his shock...

Russian Olympic gymnast Alexei Nemov, who is one of the most celebrated gymnasts of all time, defended compatriot Ivan Kuliak over his shocking behavior at the 2022 Doha World Cup, where the latter wore the Russian pro war symbol while competing at the parallel bars and while sharing the podium with Ukrainian gymnast Illia Kovtun.

"I have always said that in competition it is important to treat any opponent with respect," Nemov wrote in an Instagram post according to Google Translate. "But what to do when you do not see the reciprocal respect from the other side? When are you openly provoked? When they demand to be suspended from participation for what flag is on your passport?!"

"Ivan Kulyak @ku1ich720 did what he saw fit at the World Cup in Doha. He stood up for himself as best he could! Considering how Russian athletes are being treated now, this is not surprising," he stated.

"All our guys now I can only wish firmness of spirit. We must withstand this pressure! Be above everything!"

The 2000 Olympic all around champion previously weighed in the recent sporting ban on Russia and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, calling on people to support each other and to show empathy, compassion and love.

"It is important to remember, though, that like Khorkina, he is a colonel in the Russian army and a member of Putin’s political party United Russia," Gymnovosti's blogger tweeted. "His hands are not clean in this situation."

"Not just a regular party member either, he’s on the party’s high council. Also had various roles in the Russian government," she explains.

"During the presidential “elections”, he was one of Putin’s official representatives. What I’m trying to say is no matter his posts on social media, like Khorkina, he did a lot of actual harm in real life."

"Also, calls for peace from Russian people often mean calls to Ukraine to surrender. We don’t know what kind of peace Nemov has in mind."

Russian former gymnast Svetlana Khorkina, who is the 1996 and 2000 Olympic uneven bars champion, heavily supports the regime in its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia's national team coordinator Valentina Rodionenko, Valentina Rodionenko, and the head of the Russian Artistic Gymnastics Federation, Vasily Titov, announced their support for Kuliak.

The Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials, including judges have been banned from taking part in FIG competitions or FIG-sanctioned competitions - starting from March 7th until further notice.

The 20 year old gymnast is set to face disciplinary action by the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation.

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