Female Russian Runners Kiss—Very Publicly
Kseniya Ryzhova, Tatyana Firova smooch atop podium, set tongues wagging
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2013 8:46 AM CDT
Russian runners Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova kiss on the podium at the World Championships.   (Liga Fanatico)

(Newser) – Maybe it was just affection or maybe a blatant political statement, but as the debate heats up over Russia's anti-gay policies, two female Russian runners yesterday shared a very public smooch—atop the winner's podium at the World Athletics Championship in Moscow. Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova had just won gold in the women's 4X400 relay, reports Sky News, which seems sure that the kiss was a protest; other outlets aren't so sure, and neither runner has commented publicly.

Meanwhile, Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko spoke out today, reports the AP, saying that Olympic athletes' private lives won't be subject to the law. "The freedoms of Russian and foreign athletes and guests who come to Sochi will be absolutely protected," he said. But he showed no signs of softening with regard to athletes who might be inclined to make public statements: "We want to protect our children whose psyches have not formed from the propaganda of drug use, drunkenness and non-traditional sexual relations."

Next on Newser: 19 Reality TV Tragedies
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Gay-Rights Protest? Russian Runners Kiss is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 133 comments
Aug 22, 2013 2:17 PM CDT
By the time this photo goes viral, those 2 will be put to death by order of Chairman Putin.
Aug 20, 2013 4:03 PM CDT
The lady on left must be the man in the family, two lovely chicks. Did you know that Russian have superior to ours Healthcare System.
Aug 19, 2013 2:39 PM CDT
"Right is right when no one does it. Wrong is wrong when everyone is doing it" ~ Augustine