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IOC: Russian government says Sochi athletes, fans will be exempt from anti-gay law

Jul 26, 2013, 9:32 AM EST

Vladimir Putin Getty Images

Russian government assured the International Olympic Committee that the Sochi 2014 Olympics will be exempt from legislation banning the promotion of homosexuality, the IOC told R-Sport on Friday.

“As a sporting organization, what we can do is to continue to work to ensure that the Games can take place without discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators and the media,” the IOC said in an emailed statement to the Russian news outlet. “To that end, the IOC has received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games.”

Russia passed a law in June banning gay “propaganda.” It prompted protests, even calls to boycott the Games by some. Two-time U.S. Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, an enthusiast of all things Russian who came out as gay in 2011, wrote in his weekly newspaper column that he does not think there should be a boycott.

The IOC also made a similar statement on the issue last week.

“The International Olympic Committee is clear that sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation. The Games themselves should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media and of course athletes. We would oppose in the strongest terms any move that would jeopardise this principle.

“As you know, this legislation has just been passed into law and it remains to seen whether and how it will be implemented, particularly as regards the Games in Sochi. As a sporting organization, what we can do is to continue to work to ensure that the Games can take place without discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators and the media. Wider political issues in the country are best dealt with by other international organizations more suited to this endeavor.”

Putin tells critics of Russian team to ‘try some Viagra’

  1. mogogo1 - Jul 26, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    The Aztek empire would just like to reassure all guests that while ritual sacrifice will be going on continually during your stay, we won’t be killing you. With that out of the way, can we get on with these Olympic games now?

  2. leothelyon - Jul 27, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    “The International Olympic Committee is clear that sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation.

    But if homosexuals go there to promote this ill behavior homosexuality than tell them they can not compete. It’s their country, it’s that simple. If I see this perversion or if it’s even mentioned, I won’t care to watch the Olympics. And that is how simple that will be.

  3. steveorevo - Jul 27, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    That is until the Olympic is over. And the. It’ll be just like ‘V’ for Vendetta -only darker and sans the happy ending. Followers of millennia old religious doctrine are concerned about the march of freedom into their lands. But unlike Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Putin is not particularly religious -he’s a relic of the USSR. What’s worse than a Nazi? If there ever could be a ‘communist nazi’, here you go.

  4. eelsnave - Aug 1, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    the world does not need to endorse or participate in countries that are the scum of the earth, it is far better to avoid these areas that represent bigotry an human rights violations – that goes for the sponsors of these games as well – if they sponsor they endorse – if they endorse they are part of the problem – hold gay Olympics elsewhere in tolerant territory – let them take their “Viagra” – or whatever they need to prove that they have a “superiority” – the rest of us can rest on principle!

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