Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has admitted it would have been better to introduce the country’s controversial anti-gay propaganda law after Sochi 2014.
The new legislation, signed into law in June by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has caused controversy worldwide and cast a shadow over preparations for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
“Perhaps the state authorities should have waited a little to include the ban on homosexuality propaganda in the law,” Mutko told RBC, a Russian news agency. “It was possible to calculate how much resonance it would cause in the West, especially in the run-up to the Sochi Olympics.”
Mutko claimed that Russia’s rivals had used the new law and the controversy it has generated as a weapon to attack the country.
“The West’s reaction to the law is part of the relationship to our country,” he said. “Russia is gaining momentum in all areas, including in sports. No one in the world needs that. They liked it when we were weak.”
Contact the writer of this story at email@example.com. Inside the Games is an online blog of the London Organizing Committee that staged the 2012 London Games. The blog continues to cover issues that are important to the Olympic Movement. This article is reprinted here with permission of the blog editors.