An author has taken up Russian President Vladimir Putin as the subject of his new book in which he alleges that he is gay.

Political scientist Stanislav Belkovsky, who has himself been alleged to have been employed by the Kremlin,  writes in his book that the notorious figure Putin is not as he seems, reports Spiegel Online.

Putin has been condemned by the LGBT community around the world, after he signed a law in June banning the “promotion” of homosexuality to minors.

Belkovsky writes that past affairs with female gymnasts were merely invented by Putin’s PR team, in order to make him seem “macho and (a) sex bomb”. He goes on to say that they did so in order to hide either that “sex and a sex life are alien” or that he is “latently gay”.

Noting in the book that he does not have proof that Putin is gay, but that he is also a gay icon, Belkovsky writes: “For the lawyers among my readers,” you should note that “a cult figure among homosexuals is not automatically a homosexual himself.”

He goes on to write that a 2007 outdoor photo shoot with horses and fishing rods was the beginning of Putin becoming a “gay icon”.

Continuing, he says that Putin is lonely, prefers to spend time with animals over humans, and was born into a hidden, enormous amount of wealth.

A spokesman for Putin, Dmitry Peskov, stronly denied many of the allegations made in the book, including rumours around his birth. Peskov says that Belkovsky’s claims lack basis, and “are total rubbish.”

Others have questioned the motives in making such claims in a book, some speculating that Belkovsky simply wanted to write a best-seller.

Stanislav Belkovsky is the founder and director of the National Strategy Institute, a Moscow-based NGO and thinktank.