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Two Female Russian Athletes Kiss On Winners Podium

posted 17 Aug 2013, 17:03 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 17 Aug 2013, 17:05 ]

After winning the women's 4x400 metres relay gold medal at the world athletics championships, Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova share a kiss in what goes against Russia's controversial anti-gay propaganda law and comes just two days after Russian athlete Yelena Isinbayeva's comments about the law.

MOSCOWRUSSIA (AUGUST 17, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova shared a kiss on the winners' podium after helping Russia win the women's 4x400m gold medal at the world athletics championshps in Moscow on Saturday (August 17).

The public statement comes two days after Russian athlete Yelena Isinbayevapublically supported the Russian government's controversial anti-gay propaganda law.

Isinbayeva, who is one of Russia's most popular sportswomen, caused international uproar on Thursday (August 15) when she spoke out in favour of her country's recently-adopted law that bans some aspects of the promotion of homosexuality.

Isinbayeva backtracked on Friday (August 16) when she said she had been "misunderstood" after making her comments in English.

The law continues to hang over the world athletics championships like a depressing pall, and in the absence of fans or superlative performances it threatens to become the uneasy, abiding memory of the Moscow event.

With Russia due to hold the Winter Olympics next year and soccer's World Cup in 2018 the Government's stance, popular at home but fiercely at odds with many of the countries due to take part and already condemned by U.S. President Barack Obama, is likely remain a touch-paper for protest.

Swedish high jumper Emma Green-Tregaro, who painted her fingernails in the colours of the rainbow flag in support of Russia's gay community, was told not to repeat the gesture in Saturday's final.

The Swede, who finished fifth in the final, was told it violated the IAAF's (International Association of Athletics Federations) regulations on athletes making commercial or political statements.

Tregaro opted to paint her nails red for the final, which she said is the colour of love.

The law, passed in June and that appears to have the widespread support of the Russian people, is already threatening to be a constant shadow over next year's Sochi Winter Olympics, where athletes, officials and fans will have to operate within its boundaries.

Social commentators in Russia have said that the country is likely to adopt something of a siege mentality in the face of worldwide condemnation and that a change in the law, which is broadly popular with the conservative majority, would be considered an unthinkable loss of face.