Ivan Kuliak is expected to compete at the Russian Cup, according to Valentina Rodionenko ©YouTube

Russia’s national gymnastics team head coach Valentina Rodionenko has claimed that suspended athlete Ivan Kuliak will compete at the Russian Artistic Gymnastics Cup in Kaluga.

According to Russia’s official state news agency TASS, Rodionenko confirmed Kuliak planned to return to gymnastics for the Russian Cup as he "has the right to compete in Russian competitions."

Rodionenko commented that he is set to participate in two apparatus events.

The competition is due to be held from July 4 to 10.

Kuliak was banned for one year by the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation (GEF) Disciplinary Commission for wearing the letter “Z”, a symbol connected to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, during the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Apparatus World Cup in Doha in March.

The 20-year-old also visibly wore it during the medal ceremony after he won bronze in the parallel bars while Ukrainian Ilia Kovtun won gold.

The FIG rebuked the Russian gymnast at the time, labelling it as "shocking behaviour", and promptly banned athletes from Russia from their events.

The GEF ruled Kuliak must return the third-place medal and the prize money worth CHF500 (£416/$504/€483), as well as pay costs of CHF2,000 (£1,700/$2,000/€1,900).

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a "pro-victory" rally in March, which Ivan Kuliak attended ©Getty Images

The panel believed that Kuliak "breached the FIG statutes, the FIG code of discipline, the FIG code of ethics, the FIG code of conduct and the FIG technical regulations when he wore the letter Z on his singlet during the competition and award ceremony."

Kuliak has filed an appeal against his suspension, as reported by TASS.

Rodionenko and fellow Russian coach Igor Kalabushkin have been threatened by the FIG with disqualification for Kuliak’s action, but the GEF did not make a disciplinary ruling against them.

The panel found they did not violate any of the FIG rules.

Kuliak was one of the Russian athletes to attend a "pro-victory" rally with Russian President Vladimir Putin in March.

Olympic women's artistic team gold medallist Angelina Melnikova was seen holding a "Z" symbol at a Victory Day parade in Voronezh in May.

Olympic gymnastics champion Nikita Nagornyy and two-time Olympic swimming gold medallist Evgeny Rylov have also been seen publicly supporting the war.

Rylov was suspended by the International Swimming Federation for nine months for participating in the pro-war rally.