Conflict & Justice

No Controversy Over LGBT Athletes at World Championships in Russia

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Credit: REUTERS

Yarisley Silva of Cuba competes during the women's pole vault final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow August 13, 2013. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch (RUSSIA - Tags: SPORT ATHLETICS) - RTX12K76

The controversy over Russia's anti-gay propaganda law has generated a lot of press just ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympic games in Sochi, Russia.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the audio to hear it.)

US President Barack Obama has criticized the law. Business owners who support gay and lesbian rights have threatened a boycott of Russian foods. And some people are even calling for a boycott of the Olympic games.

Yet, there's been no talk of boycott at the Track and Field World Championships going on right now in Russia. They're taking place in Moscow, right on Vladimir Putin's home turf.

"We're here to cover an international sporting event," said Nicole Nazarro who's reporting on the World Championship for Runner's World. "It's understood (the anti-gay law) is part of the political scene."

American 800 meter runner Nick Symmonds is a great example of one way athletes can be involved in talking about their beliefs, said Nazarro.

"He's been blogging for Runner's World on his personal beliefs on gay and lesbian rights. But he's said, 'When I'm in the host country, I'll respect them, I will shake their hand, I will win the race, and then help them to see that in a free society you can live well.'"

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