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Athletes Urge Olympic Committee To Press Kazakhstan Over Antigay Legislation

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach

A group of athletes is asking the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to pressure Kazakhstan to drop proposed antigay legislation.

Kazakhstan is in the running to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, with China being its only rival.

In February, the country's senate passed a first draft bill barring "propaganda for a non-traditional sexual orientation."

Analysts say it resembles legislation adopted in Russia in 2013 that sparked international condemnation.

Twenty-seven current or former Olympic, Paralympic and professional athletes urged IOC President Thomas Bach to ensure that the Olympic Games' principle of nondiscrimination are upheld.

Their appeal comes in a letter organized by Athlete Ally, a group fighting for sports equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

In the letter, the athletes "urge the IOC to reiterate to Kazakh authorities that discrimination with regard to sexual orientation is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic movement."

Based on reporting by the Huffington Post