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SBD Global/August 13, 2013/OlympicsPrint All
Russia's Interior Ministry, "which controls the police force," confirmed Monday that "the country's controversial anti-gay law will be enforced" during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to R-SPORT. Confusion "has reigned over how the country intends to act" during the Winter Games after President Vladimir Putin signed legislation in June that "bans the promotion of homosexuality to minors." The IOC "first claimed it had received assurances from top government officials" that Sochi 2014 athletes and guests will not be affected, prompting Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko to insist that "no one is exempt from the law." An Interior Ministry statement issued Monday said, "The law enforcement agencies can have no qualms with people who harbor a nontraditional sexual orientation and do not commit such acts [to promote homosexuality to minors], do not conduct any kind of provocation and take part in the Olympics peacefully" (R-SPORT, 8/12).
In recent months, blows have "rained down" on Istanbul's 2020 Olympic bid with anti-government protests "rocking the country, and dozens of Turkish athletes banned for doping," according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. But Istanbul 2020 CEO Hasan Arat said that "to suffer those ups and downs over the course of an Olympic bid is normal." Less than a month before the Sept. 7 vote of the IOC, Arat said that "these issues were not fundamental problems for the country, attempting to become the first nation with a majority Muslim population to stage the world's biggest multi-sports event." Arat: "The protests are over in Turkey. There is no problem anymore, this is not a fundamental problem for Turkey." Turkey "was hit by a wave of weeks-long protests in June." Concerns "have also been raised regarding a possible security fallout from the neighboring Syrian conflict." Arat: "It is a long journey, the preparation is three years and then another seven years if you are awarded the Games. There could be up and downs. That's very normal" (REUTERS, 8/12).
Tokyo 2020 announced Monday that e-commerce company Rakuten, Inc. has become Tokyo's latest official bid partner, bringing the list of corporate partners to 21 (Tokyo 2020). ... Tynemouth sailing club is one of 1,300 sports projects in England "that have been given money to improve facilities." The projects will receive the funding through the National Lottery's Inspired Facilities, which is "part of its Olympic and Paralympic legacy program" (ITV, 8/12).