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Sochi Olympics Chief Offers Assurances Over Homosexuality Law

The head of Russia's Sochi Olympics, Dmitry Chernyshenko, carrying the Olympic torch ahead of the London games in 2012.
The head of the Sochi Olympics has offered fresh assurances that Russia’s law against the spreading of information on homosexuality to minors will not apply to people who participate in or attend the 2014 Winter Games.

Dmitry Chernyshenko was speaking at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Buenos Aires on September 8.

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Chernyshenko told the meeting that the law doesn’t prohibit homosexuality directly or indirectly, and pledged that athletes and spectators won’t be affected by the measure.

He appealed to the IOC to help Russia end what he called a “campaign” and “speculation” over the legislation.

"Obviously, Russian law -- what we have is from the deputy prime minister, and more recently actually from the president, an absolute undertaking that the law will not affect spectators, athletes, or anyone else attending the [Olympic] Games," IOC spokesman, Mark Adams said in Buenos Aires, according to Reuters. "Now, how that works in practice, that's something for the Russian authorities to work out but we have an absolute undertaking from them that the Olympic charter will be respected."

The Sochi Games are facing the prospect of being used as a stage by some groups to protest the law, which is seen by rights advocates as discriminatory.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa