MOSCOW Russia's sports minister says the country's law banning gay "propaganda" for minors won't infringe on the private lives of athletes and spectators at next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi.
But Vitaly Mutko's comments on the final day of the athletics world championships leave it open as to whether Olympic athletes and fans could be subject to prosecution if they make statements that could be considered propaganda.
In a news conference Sunday, Mutko appeared to liken homosexual relations to substance abuse.
He says "we want to protect our children whose psyches have not formed from the propaganda of drug use, drunkenness and non-traditional sexual relations."
But, he says, "the freedoms of Russian and foreign athletes and guests who come to Sochi will be absolutely protected."