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IOC wants clarification after Russia gives written confirmation anti-gay rights law won’t be enforced at Sochi Olympics

Aug 9, 2013, 11:02 AM EDT

Jacques Rogge Getty Images

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said the IOC is looking at written confirmation from Russia that anti-gay rights activism legislation will not apply to athletes and visitors at the Sochi Olympics, but it needs more clarification.

The Russian law, enacted in June, bans the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relationships” to minors, and carries with it fines and possible prison sentences.

“There are still uncertainties and we have asked for more clarification as of today,” Rogge said at a news conference Friday in Moscow, according to R-Sport. “When we understand the law, we are prepared to abide the Olympic charter, which says sport is a human right and it should be available to all.”

Rogge said the confusion is in the translation of the law from Russian to English.

“The Olympic charter is clear,” Rogge said, according to The Associated Press. “A sport is a human right and it should be available to all, regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation.”

The AP reported Thursday that the U.S. Olympic Committee engaged in discussions with the IOC and the U.S. State Department to ensure the safety and security of U.S. athletes at the Olympics.

“We do not know how and to what extent (the law) will be enforced,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun wrote in a letter addressed to U.S. Olympic organizations date July 25, according to the AP.

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he had no tolerance for gays and lesbians to be treated differently.

Last week, the IOC stood by its assurances from Russian officials that the law would not be enforced during the Olympics, despite Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko saying those “propagandizing” gay relationships would be “held accountable.” The IOC said its Russian source outranked Mutko.

Mutko said Thursday the Western criticism over the law is an attempt to “undermine Russia’s athletic performance” at the Sochi Games, according to R-Sport.

“I would call this a bit of pressure ahead of the Olympics,” Mutko said. “Russia should understand that the stronger we are, the more they don’t like it.”

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  1. mogogo1 - Aug 9, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    The IOC is such a bunch of clowns. Initially, they were okay with the law based on nothing more than somebody’s verbal word that it wouldn’t apply to athletes and visitors. Now, even after getting that in writing they suddenly need even more clarification?

    And I remain amazed that the IOC’s only point of contention is whether athletes or visitors to the Olympics are going to be affected. A bit like “We line up people and shoot them every day, but we promise nobody here for the Olympics will be shot.” “Hey, thanks for the reassurance. And good luck with your killings after we’re gone!”

  2. cutelittleguy02 - Aug 9, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Hi

    I just want to say this country which called Russia does not have right to host the Olympics.

    What happened to the Olympics spirit open to everyone.

    And now if you are athlete or member or family to be gay or whatever, do not show yourself at the Olympics.

    Are they going to disguise as mr president Putin?

    Really

    Boycott Russia and the Olympics that is it.

  3. bellerophon30 - Aug 10, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    This whole thing is Putin being Putin, the IOC knew who it was getting into bed with when they awarded the Olympics to Sochi, so saying that they’re surprised/disappointed/worried is pure crap.

    I think it’s time that we simply started looking at the Olympic Games as a mass sporting event, nothing more. The IOC are nothing but money whores, and the less attention we pay to them, the better off we’re all going to be. Especially here in the US, and I’m now very glad that our bids to host have been spat on these last few times. Let other countries pay for it all.

  4. coachbeck - Aug 12, 2013 at 5:38 AM

    Umm people can be with whoever they want. But we are GUESTS in their country. My mother always taught me that when your a GUEST you follow the house rules. All they would do is fine and deport these activists who only want to make a mockery of the Olympics and turn it Into a protest.

    Since we are forcing Russia to change laws can we get the Visa fees dropped as well since it will be an inconvenience to me ?

    If this was an issue they could have chosen somewhere else more gay friendly. Bangkok wasn’t available ?

  5. cutelittleguy02 - Aug 13, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Discrimination!

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