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Russian sprinters appear to protest 'anti gay' law with podium kiss

Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova claimed gold as part of Russia’s 4x400m relay team.
Aug 19th 2013, 5:13 AM 21,668 50

A PODIUM KISS in Moscow has led to further attention being shone on Russia’s harsh new homosexuality laws.

Russian runners Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova kissed on the podium after winning the 4×400 metre relay at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

According to Sky News, sources in the Russia team camp are downplaying the incident, saying it was simply a celebration and there were no politics involved.

However, with such intense scrutiny on the World Championships after pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva’s comments last week, the athletes involved were surely aware how the gesture would appear.

It’s the latest twist in a controversy that is only likely to get worse.

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The upcoming Winter Olympics are due to be held in Sochi, Russia, despite a wave of controversy surrounding the vague and potentially homophobic law. Some athletes have been using the World Athletics Championships to highlight the issue, with American track and field star Nick Symmonds dedicating his medal to his gay family and friends, and Swedish athletes painting their nails rainbow colors in support of gay rights.

‘Anti gay’ law furore Western media invention, claims Russian sports minister

Snapshot: The women’s 4x100m relay final wasn’t exactly a photo finish

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