Sochi-2014Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak has followed in the footsteps of President Putin, and warned that gay athletes at the Sochi Olympics should “leave the kids alone”.

At a news conference earlier today (February 7), the Deputy Prime Minister said that Russian organisers of the games would not discriminate against gay athletes or visitors at the games.

The politician made it clear, however, that gay people would not be allowed to “advertise” their sexuality to people under 18 years of age, following the law Russia created in June 2013 banning gay “propaganda”.

The Sochi Olympics begin on February 7 and run until February 23. US President Barack Obama is aiming to showcase “diversity” at the games by sending an Olympic delegation including several openly gay sports stars – though Billie Jean King, who had been planning to join the delegation, will now remain in the US because of her 91-year-old mother’s ill health.

More on Sochi:

> Channel 4 launch campaign in support of the gay community
> Olympics advert: ‘The games have always been a little bit gay’
> UN secretary-general condemns Russia over anti-gay laws