IOC says Russia's anti-gay law doesn't violate Olympic charter

The International Olympic Committee said in a news conference on Thursday that it won’t renounce Russia’s law banning the spread of gay propaganda because it doesn’t violate the Olympic charter’s anti-discrimination policy. 

Jean-Claude Killy, the chairman for the IOC coordinating commission for the 2014 Games in Sochi, said that after days of deliberation, “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.”

The anti-propaganda law, passed this summer, forbids the dissemination of “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors.” This, of course, could impact gay athletes along with gay visitors.

Under the fundamental principles of Olympism, as addressed in the Olympic Charter, it reads: “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”

The Olympic Charter also says that “any form of discrimination with regard to country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic movement.”

Another deputy prime minister charged with overseeing preparations for the games offered his support of the IOC’s statement.

“Regarding this law, if people of traditional sexual orientation spread propaganda of non-traditional sex to children, then they will also be held accountable,” Dmitry Kozak said to the AP. “So there is simply no need to talk about discrimination.”

Killy’s comments came at the end of the IOC’s final visit to Sochi. The commission declared that Russia was ready to host the 2014 Winter Games to begin on Feb. 7.

The IOC also said it was pleased with the on-going construction development in Sochi, although much of the infrastructure is still unfinished. Construction will cost $51 billion, making it the most expensive Olympics in history. 

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