WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – With the Sochi Winter Olympics opening Friday, the person chosen for a key element in the opening ceremony has not been revealed.

But a new report is stating that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rumored girlfriend may be lighting the Olympic flame at the Fisht Stadium near the Black Sea.

“I’m aware of this (the speculation), I was told of this by (Kremlin spokesman) Dmitry Peskov. These are the usual red herrings,” Putin said according to News.com.au.

Alina Kabayeva, a 2004 Olympic rhythmic gymnastics champion, is rumored to be Putin’s lover.

“We have many outstanding sportspeople who are significant and known in the whole world and I am not going to interfere in this process,” he said in comments broadcast on state television.

The Sochi organizing committee is expected to choose a successful Russian sports star.

Putin also added that he would not be lighting the flame.

“I do not represent winter sports, I am just a fan,” Putin said.

The rumors between Putin and Kabayeva have never been confirmed officially but Putin is single since divorcing his wife, Lyudmila, last year.

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