Photos uploaded by his friends show Pavel Lebedev pulling out the flag and then being detained by Olympic security personnel, who wrestle him to the snow as they wait for police to arrive. Lebedev, reached by The Associated Press on the phone, said he was still in the police station and undergoing questioning.
"Hosting the games here contradicts the basic principles of the Olympics, which is to cultivate tolerance," Lebedev said, citing growing homophobia in Russia as the main reason for his protest.
A ban on propaganda of "nontraditional sexual relations" that was signed by President Vladimir Putin into law in June has provoked widespread international outrage from critics who believe the legislation discriminates against gays.
In the wake of that backlash, Russian authorities have put limits on the right to protest during the Sochi Olympics, which will run until Feb. 23. A presidential decree initially banned all rallies in Sochi from Jan. 7 to March 21, but Putin later rescinded the ban to allow demonstrations at venues determined by the Interior Ministry.
More Sports Headlines
USC fires Steve Sarkisian one day after putting him on leave Cubs hit 6 home runs, top Cardinals 8-6 for 2-1 lead in NLDS 7:03 p.m. Blue Jays beat Rangers 8-4 to force Game 5 in ALDS 7:02 p.m. Chiefs running back Charles out for the year with a torn ACL 7:02 p.m. Dodgers' Utley, eligible to play while appealing suspension, not in lineup 7:02 p.m. Florida quarterback Grier suspended 1 year for positive PED test 7:02 p.m. On the brink of elimination, Royals rally to beat Astros 9-6 7:02 p.m. AP Source: Dwight Freeney agrees to 1-year deal with Cards
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.