Despite assurances of equality from the International Olympics Committee, St Petersburg MLA member Vitaly Milonov said the law would remain the same for all within the borders of Russia.

“I haven’t heard any comments from the government of the Russian Federation, but I know that it is acting in accordance with Russian law,” he told Interfax news agency.

 “And if a law has been approved by the federal legislature and signed by the president, then the government has no right to suspend it. It doesn’t have the authority.”

The IOC recently released this statement: “The International Olympic Committee is clear that sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation… The Games themselves should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media and of course athletes. We would oppose in the strongest terms any move that would jeopardise this principle.”

The “gay propaganda” ban was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin in June and forbids any displays of homosexuality.

Moscow will host the IAAF World Athletics Championships from August 10-18.

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