BREAKING: IOC Claims Russian Assurance That Sochi Athletes & Fans Are Exempt From Anti-Gay "Propaganda" Laws
state-owned news agency RIA Novosti, the International Olympic Committee today declared that it has received "assurances from the highest level" of the Russian government that athletes and fans that attend the Sochi 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.”That's quite a remarkable report, considering the source. But also considering the source, I'm looking for confirmation elsewhere.
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.
UPDATE: The Moscow Times has just published the same story.
UPDATE II: USA Today has just confirmed the statement from the International Olympic Committee.
RELATED: The television network Russia Today (RT) is a subsidiary of Ria Novosti.