IOC Receive ‘strong reassurances’ from Russian Government that Everyone’s Welcome at Sochi 2014

August 22, 2013

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has received ‘strong written assurances’ from the Russian government that there will be no prejudice at the Sochi 2012 Winter Olympic Games, medicine despite the passing of the country’s controversial anti-gay law.

The IOC has been under increased pressure to remove Sochi as the 2014 host, after Russian President Vladimir Putin passed a law that could be interpreted as disallowing public gay rights events in the country.

As a result, Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC asked the country to clarify their law and how it would affect Sochi 2014.

A statement on the IOC’s website read: “The International Olympic Committee has today received strong written reassurances from the Russian government that everyone will be welcome at the Games in Sochi regardless of their sexual orientation.

“In his letter deputy Prime Minister Kozak underlines that ‘Russia has committed itself to comply strictly with the provisions of the Olympic Charter and its fundamental principles, according to item 6 of which “any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.

“He adds that, ‘The Russian Federation guarantees the fulfillment of its obligations before the International Olympic Committee in its entirety.’”

President of the USA Barack Obama slammed the new law, as well as other high profile celebrities – the latest being Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller – and many believe that hosting an Olympic event in a country that does not allow sexual freedom, goes against the spirit of the Games.

The IOC statement continued: “The IOC 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.”