The ‘protest’ kiss seen around the world: Sometimes, a kiss is just a kiss


MOSCOW — Quick kisses exchanged by four Russian female sprinters, exuberant after winning a relay race at the world championships in Moscow over the weekend, set off a flurry of speculation in the blogosphere that they were protesting Russia‘s new controversial law against gay “propaganda.”

But two of the athletes, who appeared to brush lips while kissing each other on the cheek, insisted Tuesday that was not the case.

Kseniya Ryzhova, one of the 4 x 400-meter relay winners, said: “The storm of emotions going through us was incredible. And if we, accidentally, while congratulating each other, touched lips, excuse me. We think the whole fuss is more of a sick fantasy not grounded in anything.”

Meanwhile, a video of the awards ceremony surfaced Monday that seems to confirm the athletes’ statement that the kisses were nothing more than a congratulatory celebration between teammates. [Watch here.]

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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