Saturday, July 27, 2013

International Olympic Committee says Russian anti-gay laws won't affect athletes & fans at Sochi Games

The International Olympic Committee has issued a statement that it has received "assurances from the highest level" of the Russian government that athletes and fans that attend the Sochi Olympic Games will not be subject to the national ban on "promoting homosexuality."

“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 IOC said in an emailed statement. “To that end, 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.”

The IOC added that “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.” While the law’s proponents argue that it is aimed at protecting children from harmful influences, critics allege that the move is part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community. Russia has come under international criticism, including from the European Court of Human Rights, for its treatment of gay people.

NBC said this to Buzzfeed regarding the IOC's statement :

“NBCUniversal strongly supports equal rights and the fair treatment for all people. The spirit of the Olympic Games is about unifying people and countries through the celebration of sport and it is our hope that spirit will prevail,” NBCUniversal senior vice president of corporate communications Cameron Blanchard told BuzzFeed Friday evening.

Geidner reports that NBC noted that the Olympics are still seven months away and that "specific coverage plans are yet to be finalized."

(via JMG)

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