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IAAF calls on Russia to to reconsider its views on gays

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

MOSCOW — The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) called on Russia to reconsider its views on gays, yet said Wednesday that it does not want to raise political issues about the country’s new anti-gay legislation at the world track championships.

Ivan Sekretarev, AP
A Russian gay rights activist wears handcuffs while he and others, dressed as female police officers, protest against a new gay propaganda law, in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013.

IAAF deputy general secretary Nick Davies said it would be good for the Russian government to see people with “alternative lifestyles, and this may serve as an impetus for them to reconsider their views instead of just living in an isolated society.”

At the same time, Davies insisted the world championships should take on the credo of the Olympics and not raise political issues during their events. The track worlds start in Moscow on Saturday.

Russia recently introduced a law that bans so-called “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” and imposes fines on those holding gay pride rallies.

There has been a groundswell of protest and unease outside Russia about the issue, especially after the country’s sports minister said last week that the law would be enforced during the Feb. 7-23 Sochi Olympics — appearing to contradict assurances to the contrary from the International Olympic Committee.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama also criticized the law cracking down on gay rights activism, saying he has “no patience for countries that try to treat gays and lesbians and transgendered persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.”

Davies said in a statement that, as an international organization, “we have to respect the laws of the land,” whether it likes the laws or not.

“The IAAF cannot control or modify this,” Davies said.

He did insist that the IAAF’s charter is clearly opposed to any discrimination against sex, religion or gender.

“It is simply not a problem in our sport,” Davies said.

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13 more reader comments:

  1. I think most of the world is calling for Russia to stop the nonsense.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 3:10pm
  2. Impotent fucks.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 3:14pm
  3. hell with reconsidering! The hatred I have in me for this hell-hole will NEVER EVER go down!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 3:17pm
  4. POLITICAL ISSUES? Since when is discrimination a POLITICAL issue? Oh that´s right. I forgot where I live for a minute. It was nice…

    Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 3:17pm
  5. Yay…. Translation: “We are not really concerned with what you do, but at some point our sponsors may think differently so we send a vague message to you to make it look like we do something…”

    Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 3:17pm
  6. Would the IAAF hold that they have to respect a country´s laws if the issue was apartheid? Would they respect a country´s laws if women are banned from sport (among other things)? Would they respect the laws of a country that calls for the death penalty for being found gay? No organization can walk away from the issues by saying they respect a country´s laws – even when those laws repress human rights.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 3:18pm
  7. Russia will not change while Putthead is in power. This douche needs to go before common sense prevails!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 3:25pm
  8. The International Olympic Committee needs to pull Russia as the host of the 2014 Olympics and choose a host country that supports human rights. If the Olympics occur in Sochi, we will NOT be watching them and will encourage everyone to boycott them as well as write, call, and inform the advertisers of just what they are supporting and why we will NOT tolerate it.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 3:25pm
  9. ….instead of boycotting it completely, which would realy be a sign. i guess if it was the catholics, or jews or blacks the world would scream out immediately, but since its only the fucking gays- it obviously doesnt matter…..shows me again, where i and we all stand in 2013´s society.SAD!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 3:27pm
  10. They can call all they want, but Russia is not going to pick up the phone any time soon. Boycotting anything Russian including the Olympics is not going to have much of an, if any, impact. Instead, i wonder what Putin would do if his country was suddenly flooded with gay pride from all around the world? Piss off the wrong person and he´s going to have an international incident on his hands.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 4:00pm
  11. So basically, they´re just paying lip service instead of boycotting them like they should. Looks like I won´t be watching many sports events over the next while.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 4:03pm
  12. IAAF are FOOLS! If they “allow” this, then which host-country will start disallowing women to partake in international athletics, or deny people of colour or of a religion? Where does it stop?? IAAF needs to REJECT Russia, as does the IOC!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 5:25pm
  13. time to move the Olympic games OUT of Russia and back to Canada

    Posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 7:11pm