The International Olympic Committee today announced that it has no grounds to challenge Russia’s anti-gay laws in advance of the Sochi Olympics.
IOC officials told a news conference in Sochi, where they were making their final inspection tour before the Games begin Feb. 7, that they were “fully satisfied” that a Russian law banning gay propaganda does not violate the Olympic charter’s anti-discrimination guarantee, the Associated Press reported. The committee considered its decision for several days, IOC Chairman Jean-Claude Killy said, but finally agreed it lacked authority to criticize a host country’s laws if they did not specifically violate Olympic rules. Russian officials have issued contradictory statements about how the law might be enforced. Some have promised that gay athletes and spectators will not encounter any problems, but others have warned that all visitors must respect the nation’s laws.
The Washington Post notes that today’s announcement “will likely to set off a furious reaction among human rights activists.” You think?