A Russian Paralympian weightlifter has been stripped of his gold medal because of a t-shirt he was wearing.
Powerlifting champion Vladimir Balynets, 32, secured a new world record when he triumphed at the European Championships in Finland.
However, his celebrations were short-lived as he breached sporting rules wearing a t-shirt with Vladimir Putin’s face emblazoned on it.
Balynets unzipped his tracksuit while on the podium during the awards ceremony revealing the picture of the Russian president playing ice hockey.
See Vlad’s controversial t-shirt ceremony below:
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He was disqualified because the clothing violated rules banning political or religious symbols, article 3.4 of the International Powerlifting Federation’s constitution.
It has also been reported that Balynets will face a ban from IPF competitions for the rest of 2017.
Speaking after the competition Balynets admitted he broke the rules by accident.
I do agree with the IPF decision. There is such article, and due to the lack of knowledge I did show my T-shirt.
Not knowing the law does not absolve me of responsibility.
Later Gennadiy Khodosevich, from the Russian Powerlifting Association, claimed the ban had been withdrawn as it was all ‘internal politics’.
He just should have read the rules.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.