IOC seeks clarity on Russia's anti-gay law

Moscow, Aug 13 (IANS) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) wants more clarifications from the Russian government on its anti-gay law ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

The law bans "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" and imposes fines on those holding gay pride rallies. It has caused a major international outcry and spawned calls for protests ahead of the Winter Games.

The IOC insisted Monday that there must be no restrictions on athletes in Sochi next year, according to The Moscow Times. It asked the Russians last week to provide written re-assurances about how the law will be applied.

C.K. Wu, an IOC executive board member, said the Russians must "fully understand" that the human rights of athletes, as enshrined in the Olympic Charter, have to be respected during the Feb 7-23 Olympics in the Black Sea resort.

"We want to know during the games what will happen in different situations," Wu said. "What are you (Russia) going to do? So we are waiting for them to really respond."

ussian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko insisted last Thursday that Olympic athletes would have to respect the laws of the country during the event. On Friday, he said there was no way Russia would back down under political pressure.

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