Russian gymnast faces discipline after wearing 'Z' symbol next to Ukrainian gold medalist – USA TODAY

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A Russian gymnast is being called out for his “shocking behavior” after wearing a symbol in support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on a medals podium. 
According to The Guardian, Ivan Kuliak sported a “Z” on his leotard while standing next to Ukrainian gymnast  Illia Kovtun at the Gymnastics World Cup event in Doha, Qatar on Saturday.
Kovtun had won gold, while Kuliak won the bronze medal. 
The letter “Z” symbolizes support for the Russian invasion and has been painted on Russian tanks and streets as the conflict between the two countries continues to escalate. 
According to a statement, the International Gymnastics Federation said it will ask the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation to open disciplinary proceedings against Kuliak for his “shocking behavior” at the event. 
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On March 4, the FIG announced Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials would not be allowed to participate in FIG competitions or FIG-sanctioned competitions starting March 7 until further notice. 
“The FIG would like to stress that these exceptional and emergency measures are decided and issued in view of the above-mentioned extraordinary circumstances,” the FIG said in a statement
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Russia’s military said they would begin to ceasefire on Monday in multiple Ukrainian cities to allow citizens to flee, but continued to launch rocket missiles that hit residential buildings. 
A third round of talks between the neighboring countries is expected on Monday. 
Contributing: Kelly Tyko
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email:


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