Putin says gay and lesbian athletes welcome at 2014 Winter Olympics
Russian President Vladimir Putin has told Thomas Bach, head of the visiting International Olympic Committee, gay and lesbian athletes will be welcome at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
“We will do everything to make sure athletes, fans and guests feel comfortable at the Olympic Games regardless of their ethnicity, race or sexual orientation. I would like to underline that,” Putin said.
Putin’s comments have come in response to international pressure surrounding Russia’s recent and many grievances towards its LGBT community, including the ‘homosexual propaganda’ bill which passed earlier this year.
The International Olympic Committee has been heavily criticised for not exerting enough pressure on Putin, with many activist groups calling for a boycott.
In the televised interview, Bach appeared to have said nothing of the controversial anti-gay laws but instead focussed on Russia’s preparations for the upcoming Olympics.
"We are fully confident that the Games will be on a magnificent level," he said.