The Russian government has said that they will enforce anti-gay laws against athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics. So is the International Olympic Committee standing with its athletes in opposing this discrimination?
The International Olympic Committee says it plans to stop any athlete from showing support of LGBT Russians at the Sochi Winter Games, reports Gay Star News.
“The IOC has a clear rule laid out in the Olympic Charter, which states that the venues of the Olympic Games are not a place for proactive political or religious demonstration,” an IOC spokeswoman told Gay Star News. “This rule has been in place for many years and applied when necessary.
According to the cited rule, athletes found in violation could face “disqualification or withdrawal of the accreditation of the person concerned.”
This means any athlete who is seen holding hands with a member of the same sex or wearing a rainbow pin at any point during the games in Sochi would not only face potential fines, jail time, and deportation under Russian law but also punishment from the International Olympic Committee.
So, for gay athletes, simply being who you are will be classed as a protest and punished by the IOC. I guess they've decided that all that money from the games is more important than the human rights or physical safety of the participants who make them possible.