Athlete denies kissing team member in protest against anti-LGBT law

Ksenia Ryzhova, a member of the Russian 4x400m women's relay team who won the gold at the 2013 IAAF World Championships last week, flatly dismissed allegations that her kiss with another team member, Yulia Gushchina, while on the winners' stand at the Luzhniki Stadium was an act of defiance against the Russian legislation banning gay propaganda among minors.

Ksenia Ryzhova, a member of the Russian 4x400m women's relay team who won the gold at the 2013 IAAF World Championships last week, flatly dismissed allegations that her kiss with another team member, Yulia Gushchina, while on the winners' stand at the Luzhniki Stadium was an act of defiance against the Russian legislation banning gay propaganda among minors.

"Instead of congratulating the athletes, they [the media] decided to insult us and all atheletes. First, both Yulia [Gushchina] and I are married. We have been part of the group led by [Russian national track and field team head coach] Valentin Maslakov for eight years. This is quite enough time for us to be real friends. Second, we haven't won the gold for eight years. You can't imagine such an avalanche of emotion and feeling," Ryzhova said at a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

A number of foreign media suggested, in commenting on the kiss between Ryzhova and Gushchina, that this could be considered propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors, which is illegal in Russia.

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