The International Olympic Committee said for the time being it is standing by reassurances that athletes and visitors attending the 2014 Sochi Games in Russia will not be affected by anti-gay legislation.
"We rest with comments made directly to us by deputy PM Kozak," IOC spokesman Mark Adams wrote in an email Thursday, referring to Russian deputy prime minster Dmitry Kozak.
The country's sports minister contradicted those assurances in an interview with state news agency R-Sport. "An athlete of nontraditional sexual orientation isn't banned from coming to Sochi. But if he goes out into the streets and starts to propagandize, then of course he will be held accountable," Vitaly Mutko said.
In June, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed an anti-gay bill that outlaws "homosexual propaganda" making public events that promote gay rights and public displays of affection by same-sex couples illegal. Foreign citizens arrested under the law can be jailed for 15 days and then deported.
Gay-rights groups have asked NBC, which holds U.S. broadcasting rights for Sochi, and the IOC to take a stronger stand.