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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 24 November, 2014

Athletes and spectators can expect ‘fabulous experience’ at Russian Winter Olympics

The IOC said that as long as the Olympic Charter is respected, it is satisfied, despite criticisms of the country’s ‘anti-gay laws’.

Russian police officers detain two gay rights activists holding a poster reading
Russian police officers detain two gay rights activists holding a poster reading "Homophobia is Russia's Disgrace" during a protest this week.
Image: Ivan Sekretarev/AP/PA

THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC Committee (IOC) has sought to clarify its position on Russia’s gay law, following its final visit to Sochi to assess progress in preparation for the Winter Games.

A report yesterday quoted the Commission Chairman Jean Claude Killy as saying he was “fully satisfied with the gay law”. The IOC said he was “misquouted” and the report was amended.

“Mr Killy infact said that “as long as the Olympic Charter is respected, we are satisfied”,” the committee said in a statement. “That is clearly not expressing any view on the law itself and Mr Killy made it abundantly clear that the IOC never comments on national legislation.”

Yesterday, Killy said “there is no time to waste” and congratulated the Deputy Prime Minister and President of Sochi for efforts made so far in getting ready for the games.

…to see how far the local organisers have come over the last six years is quite simply remarkable – the competition venues are ready; the spirit of the Games is awakening here; and the athletes, spectators and all others who visit next February can expect a fabulous experience.

The IOC said it will continue to work to uphold the Olympic Charter “which allows all participants, from spectators to athletes, to take part in the games regardless of race gender or sexual orientation”.

Read: Putin sacks Olympic deputy chief on anniversary of Sochi winter games>

Read: Putin signs new law punishing people for ‘homosexual propaganda’>

Poll: Should Ireland boycott Winter Olympics over Russian ‘anti-gay laws’?>

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