The Russian pole vaulter at the centre of the ‘gaygate’ furore has defended her statements by drawing parallels between the Russian stance on homosexuality and many Western countries’ approach to cigarettes.
‘Is like smoking in your culture,’ the champion athlete explained. ‘Is personal life-style things, so if you choose this way, OK, but you want keep them in separate. If you want do it, go outside by bins. That is how we are with these homosexualities in Russian culture.’
Isinbayeva clarified that she knew what she was talking about because she tried it once in high school when her best friend gave her one, but she didn’t like the taste or the smell it left on her fingers, and it made her cough a bit.