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Olympic committee member calls for diplomacy on Russia’s anti-gay laws

Friday, August 2, 2013

LONDON — International Olympic officials should use “all the avenues possible” with the Russian government to ensure that athletes competing at next year’s Winter Games in Sochi aren’t affected by a new anti-gay law, IOC presidential candidate Richard Carrion said Friday.

Russia’s contentious law, signed by President Vladimir Putin in late June, imposes fines on individuals accused of spreading “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to minors and proposes penalties for those who express these views online or in the news media. Gay pride rallies also are banned.

AP
Richard Carrion

Russia’s sports minister said Thursday that the law would be enforced during the Sochi Games, appearing to contradict assurances to the contrary from the International Olympic Committee.

“We should use all the avenues possible for influence and diplomacy with Russian officials, so that this legislation will not create a problem for our athletes,” Carrion, an IOC member from Puerto Rico, said in a statement Friday.

“I am confident that the discussions going on now with the Russian authorities will help clarify the extent of the law and will ensure that our athletes will be protected.”

Carrion also said it should be a condition in the future that any city seeking to host the Olympics does not have laws that “discriminate against people in any way, consistent with the Olympic Charter.”

“One of the deepest core values of the Olympic movement is ‘sports as a human right.’ Nothing should ever stand in the way of that,” Carrion said.

Carrion is one of six candidates to succeed Jacques Rogge, who is stepping down as IOC president next month after 12 years in office. The election will be held Sept. 10 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Thursday the law wasn’t designed to punish anyone for being gay or lesbian. He said athletes would be punished only for propaganda, a word that remains ambiguous under the new law.

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Under the law, punishment for foreign citizens includes fines of up to 100,000 rubles ($3,000), time in prison for up to 15 days, deportation and denial of re-entry into Russia.

The IOC said last week that it had received assurances “from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the games.”

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said Thursday the committee continues to accept those assurances.

Senior Canadian IOC member Dick Pound criticized the law Friday but said calls for a boycott of the Sochi Games were misplaced.

“I think it’s a shame that in this day and age such a law has been adopted,” he told The Associated Press in telephone interview. “But I do not think that is a reason for the entire world to refrain from going to the Olympics, and those who urge that are being very free with the sacrifice of other people in their own interest.”

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40 more reader comments:

  1. I think they should call for a “hellz no Russia”. That´s what they should call for.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:02pm
  2. change location so another country can do it

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:03pm
  3. Hold the games somewhere else or we will not watch!

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:10pm
  4. But I do not think that is a reason for the entire world to refrain from going to the Olympics, and those who urge that are being very free with the sacrifice of other people in their own interest.” Quote from Olympic member

    I personally believe that athletes should sacrifice there interest for the entire Gay Community.. Soldiers do it for there country, Women did it and so have blacks and others.. This needs to stop and our fellow LGBT friends in Russia need our support..

    Sorry Olympics I will not be watching. Tell NBC that you will also not watch. Your choice, Thank the Lord we have that choice.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:10pm
  5. but ummm THIS : Senior Canadian IOC member Dick Pound …. lmfao

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:11pm
  6. Fuck Diplomacy. BOYCOTT.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:13pm
  7. Feck the bloody shite! Move the Olympics to Canada!

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:16pm
  8. This is absurd! Boycott the fuckers!

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:17pm
  9. they don´t understand that boycott!!!!!!!

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:18pm
  10. Don´t let Russia participate in the Olympics- or hold it there either. Tell them that the civilized world won´t abide by bigots.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:20pm
  11. I agree, boycott the fuckers! Straight, gay, whatever. Nobody goes.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:21pm
  12. Move the venue. Period.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:24pm
  13. Move it to Vancouver. They would be able to host it again. They would have about 6 months to get it ready. Just don´t give it to Russia.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:30pm
  14. Move it. Russia is not about to be diplomatic and we all know it. Stop pussy footing, grow a set, move the venue and tell them why. Hurt them in their wallets. That gets attention.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:38pm
  15. boycott

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:46pm
  16. Diplomacy? Are the governments of gay-friendly nations going to pay the fines people incur for standing to close to their partner or spouse? How long will this “diplomacy” allow gay tourists/athletes to be in Russian jails? This can only end with the suffering of more LGBT people. They cannot allow Russia to host these games. It goes against the IOC´s own policies. Admit you were wrong to give them the games and take the Olympics out of Russia!!!

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:49pm
  17. FTA: ““I am confident that the discussions going on now with the Russian authorities will help clarify the extent of the law and will ensure that our athletes will be protected.”

    Carrion also said it should be a condition in the future that any city seeking to host the Olympics does not have laws that “discriminate against people in any way, consistent with the Olympic Charter.””

    I love (not) how the thing people seem the most concerned about is that no athletes get wrongly incarcerated or persecuted … It almost seems like the basic human rights of the citizens are of little concern, as long as no athletes are inconvenienced. The part about how future cities should be chosen with more care taken about how they treat people is too little, too late. Put up or shut up – obviously, human rights take a back seat to sports.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 8:50pm
  18. Boycott!

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 9:07pm
  19. So what if they come to an “agreement” with the Russian government and police force? And they going to charge the citizen vigilantes? I DON´T THINK SO.
    Boycott Sochi2014.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 9:14pm
  20. The Olympic committee shouldn´t be diplomatic. It should simply move the God Damn thing out of Russia.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 9:16pm
  21. How´s this for diplomacy: DON´T GO TO RUSSIA.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 9:29pm
  22. No, no, no, no…the IOC should just say to Russia..”Sorry, but until you get your act together to ensure not only the safety and well being of visitors and athletes to the Olympics AND reverse your recently implemented and disgusting anti-gay laws then NO OLYMPICS FOR YOU…EVER AGAIN”…CAPITO?

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 9:44pm
  23. Take it away from them! Don´t deserve the honour..

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 9:53pm
  24. lets pass an anti evil law and jail all of the leaders who made such an EVIL LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 10:00pm
  25. Diplomacy? Does it have another definition? Because what I feel for this entire situation is not diplomacy.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 10:39pm
  26. indeed

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 10:40pm
  27. I for one will NOT be watching the Olympics! I say continue the boycott!

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 10:54pm
  28. Boycott. It´s the only thing that will show the Russians that this is unacceptable.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 10:58pm
  29. The Russians need to repeal their damn divisive laws!!! >.<

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 11:26pm
  30. It Is Not About Non-Russian Athletes Not Being Assaulted Only During the Olympics. It´s About Russian Homophobia Toward Her Own Citizens. Not Good Enough IOC.

    Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 11:54pm
  31. Since when have Russians known anything about diplomacy?

    Posted on Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 12:02am
  32. I find a correlation between their recently instituted laws discriminating against LGBTs and Nazi Germany´s laws against ´undesirables´ when they took down all hate propaganda when foreigners came to town. I say boycott the Russian Olympics. RUSSIA IS A HATE STATE.

    Posted on Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 4:15am
  33. These people´s heads are so far up their asses!!! I just can´t stand the idiocy!

    Posted on Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 6:13am
  34. boycott the olympics in russia and have them here, we need the money

    Posted on Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 6:42am
  35. actually, we probably don´t need the money, this country has plenty of it, it is just distributed wrong

    Posted on Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 6:42am
  36. BOYCOTT THE GAMES

    Posted on Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 10:09am
  37. BOYCOTT RUSSIAN INTERESTS EVERYWHERE ! ;o)

    Posted on Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 11:21am
  38. Repeal the right to host……………inhumane governments have no right to be HOST to the international community!

    Posted on Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 1:21pm
  39. Screw diplomacy, even if they temporarily lift the ban during the Olympics it is still wrong, and something needs to be done.

    Posted on Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 2:01pm
  40. The focus is too fucking narrow. The athletes? Okay, great. We get that the IOC´s main concern is the athletes, but OUR concern is for the brutality of Russia´s ant-gay laws, and the bloodshed and torture going on in their wake. WE are concerned that OUR money is not being funelled into the economy of a country that can be so inhumane.

    BOYCOTT ALL THINGS RUSSIA!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 5:53pm