(AP) A senior Italian IOC member has criticized the United States for including openly gay athletes in its official delegation for next month's Sochi Olympics.
In comments widely reported by Italian media, Pescante said at an Italian Olympic Committee meeting Wednesday: "It's absurd that a country like that sends four lesbians to Russia just to demonstrate that in their country gay rights have (been established). ... The games should not be an occasion and a stage to promote rights that sports supports daily."
Asked for clarification later by The Associated Press, Pescante says he is not against gays but that he "just wanted to make the point not to let politics interfere with the Olympics."
The U.S. delegation to Sochi includes tennis star Billie Jean King and figure skater Brian Boitano.