IOC Official Calls for Diplomacy on Aniti-Gay Law
WASHINGTON -- 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.
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.