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Olympic Committee Asks Russia to Properly Translate its Policies on Gays at the Olympics

Olympic president Jacques Rogge says it has received written assurances from Russia about how the anti-gay laws will be applied during the Sochi Games but says it has sent them back for further clarification, Reuters reports:

Rogge

At a news conference in Moscow following a meeting between the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council and the executive board of the IOC, and ahead of the start of the world athletics championships in the Russian capital on Saturday, Rogge said his body needed clarification over the English translation of the law.

"We have received all reassurances emanating from Mr Dmitry Kozak, who is in charge of the organisation of the Games in Sochi. We asked for written confirmation of these reassurances," said Rogge, who was sitting alongside IAAF president Lamine Diack in the conference hall of the Radisson Royal hotel.

"We received them yesterday, we have studied it this morning but there are still uncertainties and we have decided to ask for more clarification as of today. So we are waiting for this clarification before having final judgement on these reassurances."

There is some issue with the translation, Rogge added:

"This is about a couple of paragraphs - we don't understand all the details because of probably a difficulty in translation. We don't think it is a fundamental issue, more of a translation issue."

Belgian Rogge, who steps down from the IOC presidency in September after 12 years in charge, said the Olympic charter was very clear.

"It says 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. Our position is very clear but as we don't have all (the) full details of a good comprehension of the law we cannot make any comment on that."

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Comments

  1. Bad translation, eh? NO, it's a bad law! Time to move the games to a country where this will not be an issue.

    Posted by: Joe | Aug 9, 2013 9:54:38 AM


  2. Who has given him these assurances?

    What exactly do they say?

    Will ALL LGBT people be protected at the Olympics - Russian or otherwise?

    Unless we have proper assurances on these issues then the Olympics must be removed from Russia.

    Of course seeing as Jacques Rogge is a criminal who accepts bribes on behalf of the IOC, nothing he says can be trusted.

    Sochi 2014 = Berlin 1936

    Posted by: MaryM | Aug 9, 2013 9:55:47 AM


  3. I wouldn't ask anyone to stay away from the Olympics. The athletes train with considerable sacrifice and commitment to earn the privilege of competing.

    Increasingly, I am concerned for the safety and well being of the participants and the attendees. This may be the most important reason to reconsider going.

    The IOC should move immediately to move venue - even if it means postponing events - not so much as a political statement - but to remove the risk for all those going.

    Posted by: Mitch | Aug 9, 2013 10:12:47 AM


  4. 'Peace for our time'

    Posted by: kranbree | Aug 9, 2013 10:13:35 AM


  5. The fact that the IOC is tolerating ANY anti-gay policies speaks volumes.

    Posted by: David in the O.C. | Aug 9, 2013 10:14:07 AM


  6. Mitch, I respect that the Olympians DO train very hard. It is about the safety of the LGBT people that remain unsafe due to Russia's law.

    Posted by: Jeff | Aug 9, 2013 10:31:50 AM


  7. Mitch, I interpreted your post incorrectly. sorry.

    Posted by: Jeff | Aug 9, 2013 10:33:13 AM


  8. Mitch @3: you say:

    "The athletes train with considerable sacrifice and commitment to earn the privilege of competing"

    I am getting really sick of hearing this.

    Privileged people's 'right to compete' does not trump the human rights of millions of people.

    EVER.

    The choice is quite simple. If this fascist law is not overturned (or the venue changed to Vancouver) then the USA must boycott this Olympics.

    Posted by: MaryM | Aug 9, 2013 10:40:13 AM


  9. It is obvious what is happening in Russia now. This is not just about a clarification of a translation for those who are in the country for the Olympics. It is about what is happening and will continue to happen to LGBT people in Russia because of the laws and the unwillingness of the authorities to protect LGBT people from attack and the unwillingness of the authorities to prosecute those who attack them. The Olympics should be moved.

    Posted by: john patrick | Aug 9, 2013 11:00:09 AM


  10. the gay discrimination law in Russia should imho disqualify Russia from hosting the games.

    Posted by: Andrew K | Aug 9, 2013 11:10:36 AM


  11. NOT ENOUGH. As long as the laws are on the books, action needs be taken. Either we move the Games from Sochi (Vancouver in 2014!) or we organize expansive and irrefutable mass actions at every venue for every competition...imho.

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Aug 9, 2013 11:32:17 AM


  12. This is insane. They aren't sure?!? They need "clarification" of what was said?

    The IOC needs to think real hard because this is a powder keg and it could easily explode in their faces. How are they going to handle a situation where an athlete or guest is arrested for their sexuality? Do they want to take that chance? Are they willing to put athletes and coaches at risk? If the IOC actually believes their own doctrine, they cannot take the chance of an incident which they are incapable of solving.

    This law is the problem, not the behavior or sexuality of the athletes, their families, their friends, their supporters.

    Posted by: Bart | Aug 9, 2013 11:40:22 AM


  13. russia introduced and passed this law after the games were awarded. they changed the rules, should be held accountable, and suffer the consequences.

    the athletes train their entire lives for this event, but how will they feel being drenched in cheers while glbt family, friends, workers, and competitors face arrest, fines, or worse?

    are they just looking to get into the record books, hoping everyone else will forget the tragic surroundings of the event? isn't being an atlete more than winning at any cost?

    Posted by: northalabama | Aug 9, 2013 11:48:42 AM


  14. Hitler gave the IOC these assurances
    "Nazi officials ordered that foreign visitors should not be subjected to the criminal strictures of the Nazi anti-homosexual laws" http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/olympics.html

    While Jesse Owens was winning medals, gay, lesbian and Jewish Germans were arrested and killed. There is no HONOR is blood soaked medals.

    The IOC took a political stand FOR GENOCIDE during the Nazi Olympics and if they refuse to move the games to Vancouver
    http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/international-olympic-committee-ioc-relocate-the-2014-winter-games-to-vancouver-2

    IOC will ONCE AGAIN be telling the world that their political stand is that they DO NOT CARE ABOUT GENOCIDE.

    Those athletes should know that they are taking a stand for genocide too especially the self loathing gays like Weir who cares more about medals than pogroms.

    I want assurances from the Russians that the gay bashing pogrom law will be repealed.
    NEVER FORGET
    NEVER AGAIN

    Posted by: QueeRevolutionary | Aug 9, 2013 12:31:09 PM


  15. Hitler gave the IOC these assurances
    "Nazi officials ordered that foreign visitors should not be subjected to the criminal strictures of the Nazi anti-homosexual laws" http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/olympics.html

    While Jesse Owens was winning medals, gay, lesbian and Jewish Germans were arrested and killed. There is no HONOR is blood soaked medals.

    The IOC took a political stand FOR GENOCIDE during the Nazi Olympics and if they refuse to move the games to Vancouver
    http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/international-olympic-committee-ioc-relocate-the-2014-winter-games-to-vancouver-2

    IOC will ONCE AGAIN be telling the world that their political stand is that they DO NOT CARE ABOUT GENOCIDE.

    Those athletes should know that they are taking a stand for genocide too especially the self loathing gays like Weir who cares more about medals than pogroms.

    I want assurances from the Russians that the gay bashing pogrom law will be repealed.
    NEVER FORGET
    NEVER AGAIN

    Posted by: QueeRevolutionary | Aug 9, 2013 12:31:13 PM


  16. Hitler gave the IOC these assurances
    "Nazi officials ordered that foreign visitors should not be subjected to the criminal strictures of the Nazi anti-homosexual laws" http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/olympics.html

    While Jesse Owens was winning medals, gay, lesbian and Jewish Germans were arrested and killed. There is no HONOR is blood soaked medals.

    The IOC took a political stand FOR GENOCIDE during the Nazi Olympics and if they refuse to move the games to Vancouver
    http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/international-olympic-committee-ioc-relocate-the-2014-winter-games-to-vancouver-2

    IOC will ONCE AGAIN be telling the world that their political stand is that they DO NOT CARE ABOUT GENOCIDE.

    Those athletes should know that they are taking a stand for genocide too especially the self loathing gays like Weir who cares more about medals than pogroms.

    I want assurances from the Russians that the gay bashing pogrom law will be repealed.
    NEVER FORGET
    NEVER AGAIN

    Posted by: QueeRevolutionary | Aug 9, 2013 12:31:14 PM


  17. The potato is becoming so hot they are throwing it to the Russian side. Neither part care for human rights, they care for economics and not being blamed for whatever bad consequences. Growing a pair is hard when there is so much dirty money to respond to. Time to dance in the Russian way.

    Posted by: SAYTHETRUTH | Aug 9, 2013 1:13:59 PM


  18. Perhaps the main reason to consider not attending the Games should not be so much about fear for the safety of participants & attendees - but rather fear for the safety of ALL whose lives are affected by discriminating legislation against GLBT people. Starting with those GLBT people in Russia who are on a fast track to a life under a fascist fist. On another subject that keeps coming up in comments - anyone who understands the logistics involved in preparing a city for an Olympic Games, knows that the very idea of 'relocating the Sochi Games to Vancouver' is beyond naive.

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Aug 9, 2013 1:48:44 PM


  19. Perhaps the main reason to consider not attending the Games should not be so much about fear for the safety of participants & attendees - but rather fear for the safety of ALL whose lives are affected by discriminating legislation against GLBT people. Starting with those GLBT people in Russia who are on a fast track to a life under a fascist fist. On another subject that keeps coming up in comments - anyone who understands the logistics involved in preparing a city for an Olympic Games, knows that the very idea of 'relocating the Sochi Games to Vancouver' is beyond naive.

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Aug 9, 2013 1:48:44 PM


  20. I don't know there, but Russian's law is starting to get into the headlines of traditional media here in Spain.
    If this spread all over Europe the pressure over Russia will increase.
    One thing is internet, and other very different, tv, radio and press.
    The sponsord will not like the bad press at all.

    Of course Putin is a sociopath and he probably couldn't care less about what the rest of the world think. But if this continue bad press is going to start to affect Russia's economy, and i'm pretty sure he cares about that.

    Posted by: jjose712 | Aug 9, 2013 1:49:33 PM


  21. At this point, cancelling Sochi would not only be protecting LGBT spectators and athletes, but also protecting the IOC. It is very, very clear by the mushiness of this statement that any 'assurances' the IOC has been given is strictly a figment of their imagination. If even one person is attacked by a bigoted mob or athlete arrested, this will go down as the sort of fiasco that the Olympics would take years or decades to get over. It could even blow up beyond that to the point where I actually think there's a non-zero chance the Olympics could be broken over Sochi.

    Posted by: Ryan | Aug 9, 2013 2:11:02 PM


  22. I hope the athletes go to Sochi and get arrested. Maybe then some of you will have spines enough to destroy the I.O.C. because get this;

    THEY DON'T FU@KIN' CARE ABOUT YOU!

    Posted by: Marc C | Aug 9, 2013 3:09:43 PM


  23. This law was put in place to stop "Western influences" concerning gay rights.If the Olympics aren't moved or boycotted how will the law enforcement personnel deal with the roving bands of skinhead thugs who attack individuals they "perceive" to be gay? Many men & women of Middle East culture hold hands of same sex individuals as friendship, this perception will lead to many attacks before,during, and after the events are over and gone.Russia already has a ethnic problem, why do they continue to add to it?As so many internet postings have shown,government,military,church,citizens are unable or unwilling to stop such attacks.

    Posted by: gb | Aug 9, 2013 3:40:23 PM


  24. It is not a problem of translation.
    "Propaganda" is a vague term which could mean you are guilty if you wear a T shirt with a rainbow flag on it. I am not sure how their legal system works. A judge will have hard time determining what is propaganda.

    Posted by: simon | Aug 9, 2013 3:43:40 PM


  25. Next up -- Olympics in Muslim Theocracy

    Posted by: rjp3 | Aug 10, 2013 10:02:42 AM


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