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Russia’s anti-gay laws will not apply to Sochi athletes, Duma says

‘We need to be as polite and tolerant as possible’

The Russian Duma. Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Russia’s anti-gay laws will not apply to athletes and guests at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, the lower house of the Russian parliament confirmed today, according to Interfax.

Igor Ananskikh, deputy chairman of the State Duma's committee for physical culture, sport and youth policy, told Interfax, "The Olympic Games is a major international event. We need to be as polite and tolerant as possible. That is why a decision has been made not to raise this issue during the Olympics."

Two Russian lawmakers in the past week, Vitaly Milonov and Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, both told journalists that athletes or guests could be arrested under the laws, which forbid people from giving any information about gay people to minors.

The International Olympic Committee, meanwhile, claimed that it had received assurances that visitors would not be prosecuted.