International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has said today, Sunday 29th, that the IOC will not tolerate any discrimination at next year’s Sochi Winter Games, referring to the Russian anti-gay propaganda law.
“The IOC is not meant to be a government who imposes laws and regulations,” Bach said while at at the torch lighting ceremony at Olympia in Greece, where the Olympic Games originated. “But we are very clear that we will not tolerate any form of discrimination. The task of the IOC is that the Olympic charter is applied 100 percent.”
Attention should, then, be drawn to item no. 6 of the Fundamental Principles of Olympism in the Olympic Charter:
6. Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.
and to item 7
7. Belonging to the Olympic Movement requires compliance with the Olympic Charter and recognition by the IOC.
Nowhere in the charter does it say that any country is exempt from these rules by virtue of their laws embracing institutionalised and legalised inequality and discrimination. It is a denial of human rights to deny teens access to information regarding their gender or sexuality. That denial of rights to any group, especially the more vulnerable teen sector, would appear to come under the term ‘discrimination’.
Whereas the IOC may not be “a government who (sic) imposes laws and regulations”, the IOC’s own regulations should preclude it from accepting bids from countries which refuse to recognise basic human rights, otherwise how is item no. 6 above supposed to be enforced?
Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws legalise the denial of access to information for those seeking information on their gender and sexual development and identity, put them in danger from those who would abuse and bully them with impunity, and penalise those who would put forward the essential information which would help them form into healthy adults, both mentally and physically.
Also in the Mission section, this is Item no. 6 on the Mission and Role of the IOC in the Olympic Charter:
6. To act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement
It must then be asked: Just what exactly would the IOC recognise as discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement, in view of the fact that this issue is definitely tarnishing the reputation of the IOC, and, more importantly, how would they define it?