Russian junior karting champion Artyom Severyukhin appeared to perform a Nazi salute on the podium following his first-round win in a viral video.
The video from last weekend shows the 15-year-old hitting a fist to his chest twice before extending his arm out into a straight line. He then begins laughing.
Severyukhin participated in the FIA junior European Karting Championships in Algarve, Portugal under the Italian flag, due to sanctions on his country as a result of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the reasoning behind the invasion is to “de-nazify” the country.
Some have argued that Severyukhin may have performed the Roman salute, however this gesture still has fascist ties. It was adopted by the Italian Fascist movement and later inspired the Nazi salute.
The video of Severyukhin was shared to the Public Freakout subreddit, where users were outraged.
“As an Italian, I am utterly disgusted that he has competed under my flag and anthem. I’d revoke his Italian citizenship immediately,” one user said.
“He’s very upbeat for a lad that will never race a go-kart again,” said another.
“Straight up ban him,” a third user said.
Motor Sports Week reported that the FIA condemned Severyukhin’s behavior and has launched an investigation into the incident. The Daily Dot reached out to FIA Karting via email.