Downing Street has confirmed that British Prime Minister David Cameron will not attend the Sochi Winter Olympics in February but says it's not a boycott aimed at sending a message about Russia's anti-gay laws, The Independent reports.
The report quotes a government official as saying that the prime minister "doesn't think boycotts and grand gestures achieve much." Performer and activist Stephen Fry had appealed to Cameron not to attend the Games.
Cameron is among a growing list of leaders — France's François Hollande, American President Barack Obama, Canada's Stephen Harper, German President Joachim Gauck, Belgium's Elio Di Rupo, Flanders's Kris Peeters, and European Union commissioner Viviane Reding — who have indicated they won't be heading to Sochi.
The UK delegation to Sochi has yet to be finalized. The American delegation includes three gay athletes — Billie Jean King, Brian Boitano and Caitlin Cahow. When asked at a Dec 20 conference if the administration is sending a message to Russia with their inclusion, Obama said, "The delegation speaks for itself," Reuters reports.