Gymnast Ivan Kuliak caused outrage on Saturday by wearing a Russian war symbol on his shirt while sharing a podium with a Ukrainian rival.
Former Russian junior champion Kuliak had just finished third behind winner Ukraine’s Illia Kovtun in the parallel bars at a World Cup event in Doha.
And as the gymnasts were pictured standing shoulder to shoulder to collect their medals, clearly visible was a letter ‘Z’ taped across the middle of Kuliak’s shirt.
The letter Z, which symbolically represents ‘victory’ in Russian, is daubed on to the front of ‘s tanks and other military vehicles.
Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak caused outrage by wearing a national war symbol on the podium
Kuliak, 20, received military training with the Russian army last year.
The Z on his shirt was in place of the Russian flag, been banned by the International Gymnastics Federation, which has also cancelled all events in Russia and Belarus.
Pro-Putin politicians, activists and influencers have also been spotted wearing clothes and badges with the letter ‘Z’ on to show their support for Best Private University the war.’Z’ merchandise is being sold by Russia Today, the Kremlin-funded TV channel.
The Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that ‘Z’ means victory.
Kuliak was sharing the podium in Doha with first-place Ukrainian gymnast Illia Kovtun