August 3rd, 2013
In the July 28 Roundup, FasterSkier passed along assurances from the International Olympic Committee that athletes and spectators of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics will be exempt from Russia’s newly signed anti-gay laws. Updated reports appear to contradict.
According to an Associated Press article published Thursday, homosexual athletes and spectators are not banned from the Games, but they will face penalties if they spread “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”. Social media and news outlets are included in the scope of punishable acts.
Foreigners found in violation of the law will pay up to 100,000 rubles ($3,000 dollars) and face up to 15 days in prison. They may also be deported and denied reentry into Russia.
According to Gerhard Heiberg, senior IOC member from Norway, in winning the right to host the Games, Russia committed to preventing discrimination.
“At the same time we always say to our athletes, `We do not want any demonstrations in one or the other direction. Please, you are there to compete and behave. Please don’t go out on the Net or in the streets,’” Heiberg said. “I think it was very clear for London in 2012 and it will be very clear in 2014. Demonstrations in one way or another, no, but discrimination, absolutely not.”