The editor of The Daily Beast has apologised after some readers complained that a story published on the US news website could have outed gay athletes at the Rio Olympics.

The story talked about how athletes use dating apps such as Bumble, Grindr, Jack'd and Tinder to connect with people at the event.

A reporter for the site said in the story that he got three dates in his first hour of trying and also detailed what some men wrote on their profiles on Grindr, a popular gay dating app.

Readers and social media users quickly voiced concern that the details in the original version of the story could not only out gay athletes, but also potentially threaten their safety.


Those concerns, Daily Beast editor-in-chief John Avlon wrote, were legitimate.

"This was never our reporter's intention, of course," Avlon wrote.

"No names were ever used and some of the profiles described were of straight women.

But there was a concern that even mentioning the home nation of some gay athletes could compromise their safety. We apologise for potentially jeopardising that safety in any way.

"As a result, we have removed all descriptions of the men and women's profiles that we previously described."

America's Society of Professional Journalists was quick to criticise the story as well.

"The athletes adversely affected by the story also deserve an apology," wrote Andrew Seaman, who chairs SPJ's ethics committee.

"Such a story has no place in a modern media organisation."

The story has now been removed from the site and replaced with a note from the editors.

"It's up to us to deliver stories that are so clear, they can't be misinterpreted - and we clearly fell short of that standard in this article," Avlon wrote.

"Accordingly, we have made some editorial changes to the article, responding to readers' concerns, and are again sorry for any upset the original version of this piece inspired."