By Emily Goddard

Maria SzyszkowskaJuly 10 - The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has suspended its entire former rhythmic gymnastics technical committee, stripped the committee's President Maria Szyszkowska of her FIG membership and annulled all courses in the discipline following misconduct at three of its judges' course last year.

The radical move came as the world governing body's Disciplinary Commission delivered its verdict against the committee following an appeal from FIG President Bruno Grandi against the original decision to dismiss the case implicating 56 judges in "irregularities" identified at courses in Bucharest, Moscow and Alicante.

Szyszkowska of Poland, who was the top official in rhythmic gymnastics at the London 2012 Olympics, will be "excluded from any form of participation in all FIG events and activities", while Russian Natalyia Kuzmina, Bulgarian Mariya Guigova, Italian Daniela Delle Chiaie, Japan's Shihoko Sekita, Egyptian Noha Abou Shabana and Caroline Hunt of the United States have been banned until December 31, 2014.

Spanish FIG member Pancracia Sirvent Mut was also found guilty in the case and handed an official warning.

The Disciplinary Commission has also revoked all qualifications gained at the three courses, at which many judges had the same scores and were awarded unjustified bonuses, with repeat tests set to take place "at the earliest possible juncture" in Frankfurt.

These will be used to appoint judges and officials for the upcoming World Championships taking place in Kiev on August 28 to September 1, but a Monitoring Commission, led by FIG vice-president Slava Corn, will also be implemented for the competition.

All those implicated have 21 days to submit an appeal should they wish to do so.

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