Ivan Kuliak faces disciplinary action after displaying a Z symbol during the podium ceremony yesterday ©YouTube

Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak faces disciplinary procedures following "shocking behaviour" at the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Artistic World Cup in Doha, after he wore a symbol appearing to support Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Kuliak was pictured on the podium for the men's parallel bars event yesterday, displaying the letter "Z".

The letter Z has been seen on Russian military vehicles and artillery during the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Kuliak was on the podium alongside Ukrainian athlete Illia Kovtun, who had won the competition.

"The FIG confirms that it will ask the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation to open disciplinary proceedings against male artistic gymnast Ivan Kuliak following his shocking behaviour at the Apparatus World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

"The FIG adopted further measures against Russia and Belarus on March 4. 

"From March 7 2022. Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials, including judges, are not allowed to take part in FIG competitions or FIG-sanctioned competitions."

Russian Gymnastics Federation head coach Valentina Rodionenko told Russian sports channel Match TV that the Z symbol was a patriotic gesture by Kuliak.

Rodionenko claimed he had not informed anyone of his intention to display the symbol.

"He didn’t consult with us," Rodionenko said.

"It was definitely his personal initiative. 

"Our guys are patriots of Russia."

Russia's Ministry of Defence has reportedly claimed the Z symbol means "For Victory".

Last November, Kuliak underwent training in the Russian military.

Ukrainian Olympic gold medallist Oleg Verniaiev crticised Kuliak's gesture on Instagram and congratulated Kovtun for his victory.

"Of course, you will excuse me, but let the Russians not shout that sport is out of politics," Verniaiev wrote.

"Congratulations to our guy, everything is in its place.

"Glory to Ukraine ??".

Russia's two-time Olympic champion gymnast Svetlana Khorkina has also used the Z symbol.

"A campaign for those who are not ashamed of being Russian, let's spread it!" Khorkina wrote on Instagram.

Khorkina is now a colonel in the Russian Army.