• Winter Olympics

Putin denies Sochi corruption claims in gay-friendly Russia

ESPN staff
January 20, 2014
Vladimir Putin has wished gay people well © Getty Images

Russia president Vladimir Putin says there have been no incidents of corruption in order to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi, while he added that the event will be a gay-friendly one in February.

The cost of bringing the Games to Sochi has cost £31 billion, but Putin says the actual cost has been £4bn, with the rest of the total going towards improvements in Sochi.

And Putin has denied claims of corruption, saying there are no facts to support them, in light of IOC member Gian Franco Kasper saying as much as a third of the figure has been siphoned off.

"I do not see serious corruption instances for the moment, but there is a problem with overestimation of construction volumes," Putin told the world's press.

"This price increase, it is sometimes due to contractor's deliberate acts, and sometimes it is due to the fact that the professional valuation of necessary investments, especially in mountain conditions, for a mountain cluster, are not efficient enough.

"If anyone has such information, give it to us, please. I repeat once again, we will be grateful. But so far there was nothing but talks."

And on the gay rights issue, Putin said that the Russian law, which bans homosexual propaganda, is in place to "to protect children and future demographic development", and has wished gay people well.

"When they achieve great results, such as, for instance Elton John achieves, who is an extraordinary person, a distinguished musician, millions of our people sincerely love him with no regard to his sexual orientation," he said.

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