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Russian gymnast banned for wearing pro-war symbol 

Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak has been given a one-year ban for wearing a national war symbol on the podium at an event in Qatar in March.

Ivan Kuliak earned bronze in the parallel bars final of the Apparatus World Cup in Doha and displayed a letter ‘Z’ taped to his chest as he stood next to Ukraine’s Illia Kovtun, who won gold.

Kuliak must now return his medal, but has a right to appeal within 21 days.

The letter Z became symbolic with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It was painted on the side of tanks and military vehicles, as well as being worn by pro-war politicians in Russia.

The incident was investigated by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) and Kuliak was sanctioned by the disciplinary commission of the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation (GEF) for violating FIG rules.

The 20-year-old is not allowed to participate in any FIG-sanctioned event or competition organised by an affiliated FIG member federation for 12 months.

Editing by Omotola Oguneye