Skip to main content

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with members of the Russian Security Council at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

Alexei Nikolsky/AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin has quashed rumours that the lighting of Sochi's official Olympic fire will feature a former rhythmic gymnastics star to whom he has been linked romantically.

A prominent Moscow journalist had suggested that the lighting of the cauldron would include Alina Kabaeva, the 30-year-old former Olympic gold medallist who is now a member of the Russian parliament with Mr. Putin's governing United Russia party.

Rumours of a long-running affair between the two added to interest in the report.

Story continues below advertisement

In 2008, Mr. Putin issued a firm denial in the face of tabloid media reports linking him to Ms. Kabaeva. At a news conference held at the villa of then Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (who himself has been the subject of lurid reports about sexual assignations), Mr. Putin answered a question from a Russian journalist about a report that he had divorced his wife and intended to marry Ms. Kabaeva.

"Not a single word of truth," he declared.

Nevertheless, rumours have persisted that Ms. Kabaeva and the 61-year-old president are romantically involved, particularly after Mr. Putin announced last June that he had separated from his wife of 30 years.

Last week the television host, socialite and opposition politician Kseniya Sobchak suggested on her Twitter account that Ms. Kabaeva would have a prominent place at the cauldron lighting.

On Tuesday Mr. Putin was asked about it, according a report carried by state-controlled news agency RIA Novosti.

"I'm aware of it," Mr. Putin said of the report, "but these are just more spoof stories."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter