Russian deputy tells Sochi athletes to 'leave kids alone'

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting with upcoming Olympic games' volunteers in Sochi on January 17, 2014
© AFP
Russia's deputy prime minister asks athletes taking part in events at this year's Winter Olympics in Sochi to "leave the kids alone".

Russia's deputy prime minister has told athletes taking part in events at this year's Winter Olympics in Sochi to "leave the kids alone", in comments reminiscent of those made by Russian premier Vladimir Putin three weeks ago.

Dmitry Kozak told a news conference on Thursday that Russian organisers will not discriminate against visitors or athletes because of their sexuality, but he appeared to back the government's support for the so-called 'gay propaganda' law.

Kozak said that athletes are free to express their views and discuss their sexuality. However, he asked them to stay away from children, saying "leave the kids alone", according to The AP.

Russia introduced a bill last year that outlawed the 'propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations', a motion which has been condemned by many worldwide.

IOC Executive Committee Member Thomas Bach looks on during the 125th IOC Session - IOC Presidential Election at the Hilton Hotel on on September 10, 2013
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