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SBD Global/October 23, 2013/Olympics

IOC's Bach: Russian Government Will Not Discriminate Against LGBT At 2014 Games

IOC President Thomas Bach wrote U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Monday to say that the IOC is confident the Russian government will not discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender athletes, coaches or spectators during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The letter was sent in response to a letter Kerry sent Bach in late September. In that letter, Kerry expressed concern about the effect Russia's anti-gay propaganda law may have on athletes and spectators during the Olympics. In his reply, Bach wrote, “One of the benefits of the Games is that they draw attention to a wide range of important issues outside the world of sport and beyond the remit of the International Olympic Committee. We accept the fact that others use the Games to highlight issues that they believe warrant more attention. However, it is important to stress that the IOC’s remit does not extend to the internal affairs of sovereign nations, no matter how we may feel about them. ... The IOC cannot hope to influence national legislation outside the scope of the Games and has to respect the law of each host country.”
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