Daley unconcerned about competing in Russia

Thu Oct 9, 2014 8:17am EDT
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By Michael Hann

LONDON (Reuters) - British diver Tom Daley is not concerned about competing in Russia despite the country’s anti-gay stance and has no plans to make a political protest ahead of next year’s World Aquatic Championships in Kazan.

Daley, who won a bronze medal in the men's 10 meter platform at the London 2012 Olympics, announced last year he was dating a man.

Russia has come under heavy international criticism for a law banning the spread of "gay propaganda" among minors.

Protests marred the build up to this year’s Sochi Winter Olympics, but speaking at the Leaders in Sport Convention at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, Daley said his sole focus is on competing.

“I go to competitions to dive, I have no concerns about going to Russia,” Daley said. “I have been there five or six times before and never had any problems. You go there to dive, you don’t go there thinking about doing anything other than that.

"For me I wouldn't be going there thinking 'I've got to do this (protest) - I just go there and focus on my performance."

Daley, the youngest Briton to win a senior world diving title at the age 15, announced on YouTube last year that he was dating a man and the 20-year-old said he has received an encouraging response from the sporting world.

“It was a life decision to make, it wasn’t a business to make,” he said. “Going in to it I had no idea what effect it was going to have.   Continued...

Tom Daley of England poses with his gold medal after winning the men's 10m Platform final at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland, August 2, 2014. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth