Russia vows equal conditions

MOSCOW -- President Vladimir Putin says Russia's top responsibility as host of the Winter Olympics is to ensure equal conditions for all the athletes.

The law signed this year banning the distribution of so-called propaganda to minors about non-traditional sexual relationships has raised wide concern about whether gay athletes and spectators would face discrimination at the Olympics, being held Feb. 7-23 in Sochi.

The Russian leader told his annual marathon news conference on Thursday that "the main thing for us is the good organization of these competitions, the creation of equal terms for all athletes."

The comment came two days after President Barack Obama announced that two openly gay athletes would be part of the U.S. delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies in Sochi.

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