RUSSIA: Anti-gay legislation won't impact 2014 Olympics, says Olympic Committee

[26 July 2013]

The International Olympic Committee has said that athletes and visitors attending the 2014 Sochi Games in Russia will not be affected by anti-gay legislation passed last month.

"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," according to the statement emailed to USA TODAY Sports.

In June, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed an anti-gay bill that outlaws "homosexual propaganda" making public events that promote gay rights and public displays of affection by same-sex couples illegal.

"This legislation has just been passed into law and it remains to be seen whether and how it will be implemented, particularly as regards the Games in Sochi," the IOC said. "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 assurance that athletes and visitors will be exempt from Russia's anti-gay laws was first reported by R-Sport. The Russian news agency also said that there has been calls from gay activists around the world to boycott Russia's first Winter Olympics. Also the U.S.-based group Queer Nation has called on its community to boycott Russian vodka.

The IOC also said: "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."




Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.