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Ivan Kuliak, Gymnast Who Wore Russian Pro War Symbol To Competition, Is In Hot Water With The Russian Federation

  Ivan Kuliak, who infamously wore the Russian pro war symbol to competition, may find himself in hot water with his country's federati...


Ivan Kuliak, who infamously wore the Russian pro war symbol to competition, may find himself in hot water with his country's federation.

The 20 year old Russian gymnast withdrew from the all around competition at the Spartakiad Cup without following the proper protocols for scratching from competition or informing his coaches.

Kuliak made several large errors during his routines, which left him frustrated and led to his withdrawal from the competition right before performing on the floor exercise, which was his last event.

"I don’t know why he scratched. I think he scratched because he didn’t have such good results," Russia's head coach Valentina Rodioneko said. "He has no right to do that [ to scratch without warning anyone]. He might be disqualified from the [event] final. It’s not right. If his coach was by his side he should’ve told him."

"That’s how he acted in Doha – very patriotically, but he did not warn any of us, [did not warn] me as the delegation head. Perhaps, we would have made a different decision there and he would not have these problems. And now he doesn’t go out on floor. He made this decision on his own and he has no right to do so."

The Russian athlete received a one year ban last May for wearing the Russian pro war symbol 'Z' while competing at the 2022 Doha World Cup, as well as on the podium which he shared with Ukrainian gymnast and gold medalist Illia Kovtun.

Kuliak was disqualified from the competition and was ordered to return the bronze medal, he won on the parallel bars, and the prize money of CHF 500.

Last week, Russian Artistic Gymnastics President Vassily Titov announced that they have received the approval of the International Gymnastics Federation and the disciplinary committee regarding allowing Kuliak to compete at the Spartakiad Cup despite the one year ban as the competition is being organized by the Russian Ministry of Sports and not the Russian gymnastics federation.

Kuliak was lauded as a national hero in Russia following his behavior in Doha. Shortly afterwards, he received a sponsorship deal with Zasport, a Russian clothing manufacturer and official outfitter for the Russian Olympic team.

 He was among the attendees of the rally that was hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin where the latter justified the invasion of Ukraine. There, he was seen wearing a Rio Olympic gold medal, despite having never competed at the Olympics before.

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