IOC: Russia’s anti-gay laws do not affect Olympic Charter

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The International Olympic Committee has declared the “magnificent” Olympic venues in Sochi ready for the 2014 Winter Games, adding they are satisfied Russia’s anti-gay laws do not threaten the Olympic Charter.

“Everything is really magnificent,” said IOC Co-ordination Committee Chairman Jean-Claude Killy on Thursday.

“Sochi is not late by any means,” AAP reports he said, adding that only “details” remain to be completed and calling on Russian organisers to “use every hour that remains.”

Mr Killy also dismissed concerns over Russian anti-gay legislation. “As long as the Olympic Charter is respected, we are satisfied,” he said.

In recent weeks the IOC has repeatedly dismissed concerns that Russia’s laws governing gay “propaganda” threatens the spirit of the Olympics movement.

Last month, IOC President Jacques Rogge said that the Committee had received “strong reassurances” from the Russian Government and it was clear “everyone will be welcome at the Games regardless of their sexual orientation.”

In August, gay retired basketball player John Amaechi said: “If you look at the Olympic Charter and the seven principles of Olympianism which speak of things like human dignity; which speak of things like not allowing discrimination for any reason – if you look at those principles the Olympics shouldn’t even be in Russia in the first place.”

Article 4 of the Charter says: “The practice of sport is a human right.  Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”