Russian female runners: Kisses not a protest

Russian female runners: Kisses not a protest

Credit: Getty Images

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 17: (L-R)Gold medalist Tatyana Firova and Kseniya Ryzhova of Russia kiss on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women's 4x400 metres Relay during Day Eight of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 17, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tatyana Firova; Kseniya Ryzhova

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Associated Press

Posted on August 20, 2013 at 5:32 AM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 20 at 12:35 PM

MOSCOW (AP) — Quick kisses exchanged by four Russian female sprinters, exuberant after winning a relay race at the world championships in Moscow, have set off a flurry of speculation that they were protesting Russia's new controversial law against gays.

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."

Russian women often kiss one another on the cheek when celebrating a happy occasion or even just in greeting.

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