The Russian government, facing mounting pressure over its new anti-gay law, said Thursday that athletes of all sexual orientations would be welcome at the 2014 Sochi Games.
In a letter to the International Olympic Committee, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said Russia would comply with the Olympic Charter, which states that discrimination is incompatible with the Olympic movement.
"In particular, legislation of the Russian Federation does not stipulate any restrictions or differentiation of the rights and responsibilities of citizens on the basis of sexual orientation," Kozak wrote. "Discrimination against sexual minorities, just as any other discrimination, is expressly forbidden by the constitution of the Russian Federation."
The letter, however, did not say whether athletes who openly show support for gay rights would face consequences under the law, which prohibits disseminating "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations." The legislation threatens criminal prosecution for discussing gay rights around children or making a public display, such as a parade, in support of gay rights.