IOC President Thomas Bach Asked To Investigate Russia’s Anti-Gay Law

6a00d8341c730253ef019b00f04e68970c-300wiReuters reports that Russian gay rights activists met with newly-elected IOC President Thomas Bach during his two day trip to Paris, calling on the IOC to launch an internal investigation as to how Russia's anti-gay laws will impact the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. Gay rights organization All Out and the IOC confirmed the meeting took place:

"During the meeting, the IOC was urged to launch an independent investigation on the legal implications of the anti gay laws … as these laws are infringing the Olympic charter and notably the sixth principle of non discrimination," All Out said in statement.

A list of questions that could help steer the investigation was handed to Bach, they added, saying they were expecting the IOC to announce within days whether it would proceed.

Though they did not receive any assurance of an investigation, the activists praised Bach's willingness to listen to their point and urged him to take a stronger stance.

"It was a valuable conversation and we delivered first-hand evidence that a clear and strong action is needed," Anastasia Smirnova, who attended the meeting, told Reuters.

The activists pointed out to Bach that since the anti-gay propaganda law was passed in June, violence against LGBT people in Russia has increased. Other activists and politicians have called on the IOC to denounce Russia's discriminatory laws as fundamentally incompatible with the principles of Olympism, though for their part the IOC has insisted they have "assurances" from the "highest authorities in Russia" that the Olympic Charter, which holds that "Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement," will apply in Sochi. However, in September the IOC announced they were "fully satisfied" that the anti-gay propaganda law does not violate the Olympic Charter.


  1. Mike Ryan says

    We should have demanded an all out boycott months ago. The IOC will do nothing and Russia will rake in billions of dollars while gay citizens and athletes are discriminated against. I’m disgusted by so many who claimed “we need to go … we need to show a presence … we need to demonstrate that Russia cannot discriminate against us…” All the while Russia and Putin are laughing in our faces, beating and killing their their gay citizens, allowing their own citizens to harm and harass gay people and carting all that Sochi sponsor and broadcast fees to the Bank of Russia.

  2. BZ says

    We’re wasting our time with the IOC. If the international athletics community stood by and did nothing in 1936 they’re not going to help us either. (Did you know the US Olympic Committee accommodated Hitler by booting two Jewish athletes off the American team?)

    Go after the corporate sponsors. That’s the only place we’ll have any leverage.

  3. says

    They’ll have an “investigation,” they will receive further “assurances,” and they will be “satisfied.”

    In other words, business as usual — with the emphasis on “business.”

  4. Keppler says

    Another useless expenditure of oxygen. Neither Bach nor the IOC give two shits. They just want us to STFU, just like Coke and the rest of the sponsors. We’re getting in the way of their potential profits.

  5. jamal49 says

    Too little, too late. The Winter Olympics are nigh upon us. I doubt if anything will change. The Olympics are big business and what would it matter now if the IOC condemned the anti-gay laws of Russia? The only thing that might matter if the IOC amended its charter to declare that any country with blatantly discriminatory laws against LGBTQ people are banned from bidding for or participating in the Olympics.

  6. Tiger says

    Even if you get “assured” by every single Russian alive that things will be hunky dory, why have the Olympics in a place that says “Yeah, we’ll suspend our awful laws as long as we get tourist money, but after you guys leave we’ll go back to being assholes.” Say no, and take the games elsewhere.

  7. says

    Nothing will come of this. It’s just a dog and pony show to make it look like the IOC actually doing something, hoping this will make people shut up and go away.

  8. terry says

    Everyone else said it all. Money talks, queers walk. Throw the gays a bone and maybe they’ll be quiet until after the games.