- (Photo: Flickr/Marco Paköeningrat via Creative Commons)
The International Olympic Committee [IOC] released a statement Thursday saying Russia's ban against "homosexuality propaganda for minors" does not breach the Olympic charter, adding that it is "fully satisfied" that Russia will not apply the law at the upcoming Sochi winter Olympic games in February.
Russia has come under fire from some athletes for its ban against "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors." After it was announced that Russia would host the Winter Olympic Games this upcoming February, several openly gay athletes expressed concern that the law would affect them. However, Russia argued that the law is only meant to protect children and would not infringe on an adult homosexual's life.
"The Olympic Charter states that all segregation is completely prohibited, whether it be on the grounds of race, religion, color or other, on the Olympic territory," Jean-Claude Killy, chairman of the IOC's Co-ordination Commission, said in a statement after visiting Sochi, the site of the winter games, earlier this week.
"That will be the case, we are convinced," Killy added, speaking in French.
The chairman went on to say that the committee doesn't have the authority to intervene in Russia's national laws on homosexuality anyway. "Another thing I must add: the IOC doesn't really have the right to discuss the laws in the country where the Olympic Games are organized. As long as the Olympic Charter is respected, we are satisfied, and that is the case."
When it was announced in June that Russia's legislation on homosexual propaganda had passed, several Olympic athletes showed their protest to the new law in a variety of ways. Two Russian female athletes kissed while standing on the podium to receive their awards after a relay race, while another Swedish female athlete painted her nails the color of the rainbow to show her opposition to the law.
However, Russia has maintained that it has the right to implement its own national laws in the best interests of its country without interference from the international community.