Clare Balding has been attacked on Twitter for her perceived 'sell-out' of presenting television coverage of the Winter Olympics.
Clare, who is gay, is working in Sochi, Russia, where laws were recently passed, banning any gay education or propaganda.
Some of those on Twitter voiced their opinions that the presenter was putting money before the LGBT cause, which has been so highlighted in the run-up to these Games.
The presenter responded to some of the tweets herself, explaining, "I’d make more at home, be safer and have an easier life. The reason I’m here is to do my job. Visibility before avoidance #pride"
— Clare Balding (@clarebalding) February 5, 2014
Some tweets, blatantly homophobic themselves, prompted Clare Balding's partner, radio presenter Alice Arnold, to defend her.
“@anthonyb96293: Clare Balding should be buried alive the fat dike.” ..just to remind us that Russia is not the only country with homophobes
— Alice Arnold (@alicearnold1) February 6, 2014
Alice added: "You don’t see the irony in attacking the only gay person going – believe me she could earn far more staying at home."
And she added: "Be warned, people who attack Clare – I will defend her. It is my right, my duty, and my vow."
Ok that’s enough twitter for today..be warned..people who attack clare..I will defend her..it is my right, my duty, and my vow.
— Alice Arnold (@alicearnold1) February 7, 2014
The Sochi Games have incited an unprecedented amount of attention for the laws of the country, with activists including the recently-released Pussy Riot women using the occasion as an opportunity to highlight the circumstances
International watchers have been quick to respond. Channel 4 showed a documentary on Wednesday evening, charting the harsh treatment of some Russian activists, and yesterday re-branded their logo, even their building, in rainbow colours - used by the LGBT community - to wish good luck to "all athletes - everyone who is out in Sochi".
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