American runner Nick Symmonds is a well-known LGBT ally who had vowed not to get political during the World Track and Field Championships in Moscow.
But after winning the silver medal in the 800 meters Tuesday (13 August), the 29-year-old could not stop himself and dedicated his medal to his LGBT friends back home.
'As much as I can speak out about it, I believe that all humans deserve equality as however God made them,' Symmonds told Russia's R-Sport.
He added: 'Whether you're gay, straight, black, white, we all deserve the same rights. If there's anything I can do to champion the cause and further it, I will, shy of getting arrested.'
Symmonds comments could be a test of Russia's anti-gay propaganda law which criminalizes public expression of support for 'nontraditional' relationships. Foreign citizens are subject to fines of up to 100,000 rubles, up to 15 days in prison, and deportation and denial of re-entry into Russia.
'I respect Russians' ability to govern their people,' said Symmonds. 'I disagree with their laws. I do have respect for this nation. I disagree with their rules.'