March 15, 2016

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The International Gymnastics Federation has suspended a female judge from Azerbaijan for three months for bias toward her country's athletes.

FIG says Yevgeniya Zhidkova ''favored three gymnasts and the Azerbaijani group'' during qualifying rounds at the 2015 world championships in rhythmic gymnastics.

Zhidkova's ban from international competition expires in June if she does not appeal against the sanction, leaving her eligible to judge at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August.

FIG says its disciplinary commission also warned Crotian judge Maja Selak for favoring a Croatian gymnast in qualifying for the same worlds, held in Stuttgart, Germany.

Three other judges were cleared of charges of bias.

FIG also commended four judges - from Argentina, Finland, France and Ukraine - for their excellence in Stuttgart.

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