Saturday, August 10, 2013

IOC asks Russia More Clarity on How the Anti-gay Law will be Applied

Jacques Rogge, the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), asked Russia for further clarity on whether the law banning gay propaganda will be enforced during the Sochi Olympics. 

Last week, the IOC said it had received assurances from the Russian government that athletes and visitors would be exempt from the law during the Games, but that claim was immediately shot down by some Russian legislators, and by Sports Minister.

At a news conference in Moscow, ahead of the start of the World Athletics Championships in the Russian capital, Rogge said his body needed clarification over the English translation of the anti-gay law.

"We received all reassurances emanating from Mr Dmitry Kozak, who is in charge of the organisation of the Games in Sochi. But we asked for written confirmation of these reassurances", said Rogge. "We received them yesterday, we have studied it this morning but there are still uncertainties, and we have decided to ask for more clarification as of today. So we are waiting for this clarification before having final judgement on these reassurances".

Rogge concluded: "The Games themselves should be open to all, free of discrimination. Our position is very clear but as we don't have all full details of a good comprehension of the law we cannot make any comment on that".

In addition, some LGBT sport and human rights organisations have called on the IOC to make sure the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia is safe for LGBT athletes to attend.

Statements' time is running out, now it's time to act!


  1. By desidon Bachman:

    See the IOC is doing something clarification just the start the IOC will move from duvh a disgusting country of hate!

  2. Russia's brutish and ham-fisted handling of their anti gay laws is actually gaining huge sympathy right now in nations where LGBT rights are taken seriously -- in the Americas, in Europe, Oceania, and in other places like South Africa where same-sex marriage has been legal for a long time. The Russian people should now realize how much their reputation has been hurt by this.

    I do not think a boycott will happen-- the USA led a large international boycott of the Moscow Olympics in 1980 over the invasion of Afghanistan, and probably will not want to alienate the Russians and destroy whatever dialogue remains with Russia by doing so. President Obama has basically said this.

    I am sure the International Olympic Committee, in private, will let Putin and his thugs know that unless they guarantee the safety of all athletes, they will pull the Olympics to another location.

    The important thing now is to keep up the pressure and publicity, and hope that the international media will make gay rights in Russia -- and other places-- an issue in their Olympic coverage. Blog coverage like this is a very good thing for our rights.