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SBD Global/August 19, 2013/Olympics
Russian Sports Minister Mutko Says Anti-Gay Law Controversy An 'Invented Problem'
Published August 19, 2013
UNDER PRESSURE: ITV reported the IOC "is facing calls to remove pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva from her ambassadorial role after she spoke out in support of Russia's controversial laws on homosexuality." Isinbayeva "criticised two Swedish athletes for making statements against Russia's new law, which makes it illegal to give under-18s information about homosexuality" (ITV, 8/16). The AFP reported Isinbayeva "attempted to play down the furore provoked by her anti-gay remarks, saying she was 'misunderstood' and was opposed to any discrimination against homosexuals." The 31-year-old issued a statement saying she was "opposed to any discrimination against gay people on the grounds of their sexuality." She said she "may have been misunderstood" as English is not her first language (AFP, 8/17).