Motor sports body investigates Nazi-style salute by karter

PARIS (AP) — A Russian karter who made what appeared to be a Nazi salute on a race podium is being investigated by the FIA.

Artem Severiukhin is also being dropped by his Sweden-based team, Ward Racing, which on Monday criticized his “unacceptable violation of the ethical and moral sports code.”

Severiukhin was filmed extending his raised right arm then laughing as he stood on the podium after winning a European Championship race in Portugal on Sunday.

The incident happened while the national anthem of Italy was being played, as the former junior champion of Russia is competing under an Italian flag. It was unclear if Severiukhin intended the gesture to be a comment on Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

The FIA said on Monday it “launched an immediate investigation into the unacceptable conduct of Mr. Artem Severiukhin.”

Severiukhin’s team said it was ashamed of his behavior which it “condemns in the strongest possible terms.”

“Ward Racing sees no possibility for continued cooperation with Artem Severiukhin and will proceed with terminating his racing contract,” the team said in a statement on its Instagram account.

In a previous post last month, the team displayed a photo of one of its racers wearing a helmet with the words “No War” over the blue and yellow horizontal stripes of the Ukraine flag.

“As Swedish citizens we are furthermore proud of our country which made the historical decision to send weapons to Ukraine for the fight against the Russian army,” Ward Racing said on Monday.

___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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