Skip to content

IOC unmoved by Russian sports minister saying anti-gay law will be enforced during Sochi Olympics

Aug 1, 2013, 2:59 PM EDT

Vitaly Mutko Getty Images

Russia will indeed enforce a new law against gay rights activism during the Sochi Olympics, its sports minister told R-Sport on Thursday, but the International Olympic Committee remains unfazed.

“An athlete of nontraditional sexual orientation isn’t banned from coming to Sochi,” Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko told R-Sport. “But if he goes out into the streets and starts to propagandize, then of course he will be held accountable.”

The IOC responded.

“For the time being, we rest with the assurances we have … that this law will not affect either athletes, officials or spectators,” spokesman Andrew Mitchell told R-Sport in an email.

R-Sport understands that the source of the assurances cited by the IOC outranks Mutko.

Last week, the IOC said it “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.” Some have called for Olympic boycotts, including through petitions. The law includes fines up to $3,000, 15 days in prison and even deportation, according to The Associated Press.

Imposing fines on individuals accused of spreading “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to minors, and even proposing penalties for those who express these views online or in the news media. Gay pride rallies also are banned.

Also on Thursday, two-time U.S. Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, who came out in January 2011, wrote in his weekly column that he has been invited to perform in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“With luck on my side, I will be there come October,” he wrote in the Falls Church (Va.) News-Press

Bill Johnson update: health has ‘improved tremendously’

Latest Posts
  1. Summer Sanders returns to run Boston Marathon again

    Apr 16, 2014, 6:54 PM EDT

    Summer Sanders

    Olympic swimming champion finished 2013 race before explosions.

  2. Nike, USA Track and Field extend partnership through 2040

    Apr 16, 2014, 4:43 PM EDT

    Ashton Eaton AP

    Deal takes Nike, USATF through next seven Olympics.

  3. Catching up with Bruce Jenner

    Apr 16, 2014, 2:57 PM EDT

    Bruce Jenner Getty Images

    Decathlon champion talks Montreal 1976, Steve Prefontaine and the greatest athlete of all time.

  4. Boston Marathon finish line security visibility increased after backpack incident

    Apr 16, 2014, 11:31 AM EDT

    Boston Marathon AP

    Police commissioner asks spectators not to flock to Boylston Street on Monday.

  5. Oscar Pistorius trial will take break for 2 weeks

    Apr 16, 2014, 8:56 AM EDT

    Oscar Pistorius AP

    Judge will spend break reading 2,000-page court record.

  6. ISU receives South Korea complaint over figure skating judging

    Apr 16, 2014, 4:17 AM EDT

    Yuna Kim Getty Images

    Korea Skating Union is protesting the makeup of judges, not the results.

  7. Boston Marathon tribute, moment of silence held near finish line

    Apr 15, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary AP

    Survivors, first responders, those affected by attack take part in tribute.

  8. Boston sports teams share same #BostonStrong tweet

    Apr 15, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

    Boston Strong

    Teams’ tweets sent at same time Tuesday morning.

  9. Usain Bolt talks about foot injury, focus beyond 2014

    Apr 15, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

    Usain Bolt Getty Images

    World’s fastest man might not race again until June.

  10. Can Michael Phelps excel in comeback?

    Apr 15, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT

    Michael Phelps AP

    What is the competition like in Phelps’ potential events?

  11. Oscar Pistorius’ cross-examination ends at murder trial

    Apr 15, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT

    Oscar Pistorius

    Prosecution asks for break until May 5.

  12. Boston Marathon tragedy remembered on anniversary

    Apr 15, 2014, 8:16 AM EDT

    Boston Marathon Reuters

    Ceremony, moment of silence to honor, remember last year’s tragedy.

  13. Catching up with Mark Henry

    Apr 14, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT

    Mark Henry Getty Images

    ‘World’s Strongest Man’ talks about nude photo shoot, pro wrestling career, meeting Andre the Giant.

  14. Michael Phelps coming out of retirement

    Apr 14, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Michael Phelps AP

    Phelps announced as headliner for meet next week, ending two-year break.

  15. How Michael Phelps spent his retirement (photos)

    Apr 14, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT

    Pele, Michael Phelps AP

    22-time Olympic medalist expected to come out of retirement next week.

  16. Update: One runner dies, another goes missing, found after London Marathon

    Apr 14, 2014, 12:08 PM EDT

    London Marathon

    Woman who finished 20th found day after disappearing.

  17. International Ski Federation defends slopestyle’s safety

    Apr 14, 2014, 10:34 AM EDT

    Alexey Sobolev Reuters

    It’s too early to draw conclusions on Sochi, FIS official says.

  18. Oscar Pistorius emotionally breaks down as prosecution alleges inconsistencies

    Apr 14, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT

    Oscar Pistorius

    Pistorius hugged by woman as he enters court, signs autograph after Monday’s session.

Featured video

Inside Michael Phelps' comeback