I truly wonder if the Winter Games will be able to proceed in Russia, not so much because of the anti-gay-propaganda law in that country, but because of the way the media is reporting on the Moscow World Athletics Championships now. It seems anything that athletes might do — or appear to be doing — to show their disapproval of the law is being trumpeted in headlines on media sites. The Games could very well become a competition for athletes to see how they can outdo each other in pushing the limits on showing support for the LGBT community in Russia — and how much publicity they can generate from media outlets only too happy co-operate.

The margin for error by the media seems to be wide. Take the case of two female Russian gold-medal winners at the athletics meet. They kissed each other on the podium, and many media sites reported it as a symbol of gay defiance. It wasn’t, the medallists are saying, both of whom are happily married — to men. The girls say they are offended, and complain that the incorrect portrayal by the media has spoiled their victory. You can read more about this story on a site called Sport Live.

The anti-gay law in Russia and the resulting media furore may be too much of a distraction for the athletes in the Winter Olympics, another reason to consider moving the Games to a more tolerant country.