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Olympic officials downplay Russia's anti-gay laws

September 26, 2013|By David Wharton
  • International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, left, shakes hands with outgoing IOC President Jacques Rogge in front of the IOC headquarters Sept. 17.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, left, shakes… (Photo courtesy of IOC / Getty…)

The International Olympic Committee now says it is "fully satisfied" Russia's new anti-gay legislation does not violate the Olympic Charter's anti-discrimination clause.

The laws threaten prosecution of anyone who promotes gay rights around minors or in public displays such as parades. Russian officials have given mixed messages as to whether they will be enforced on visiting athletes.

IOC official Jean-Claude Killy told the Associated Press his organization has carefully considered the matter.

"The IOC doesn't have the right to discuss the laws that are in place in the country hosting the Games, so unless the charter is violated we are fully satisfied," he said.

The Human Rights Campaign quickly condemned the IOC's announcement, saying the organization has "completed neglected its responsibility to Olympic athletes, sponsors and fans from around the world." 

"If this law doesn't violate the IOC's charter, then the charter is completely meaningless," campaign President Chad Griffin said in a statement. "The safety of millions of LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender] Russians and international travelers is at risk."

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