NOC Against Russian Anti-Homosexual Stance

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International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge has requested further explanation from Russia following controversial remarks made by Russian Minister of Sport Vladimir Moetko.

Moetko stated that new Russian anti-homosexual rules must be applied during the Winter Olympic held in Sochi. There has been a wave of outrage following Moetko’s declaration that all expression of “non-traditional sexual affairs” is punishable.

The Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF) has deemed the stance unacceptable, NOS.nl reports. Maurits Hendriks, head of the NOC*NSF, refused to speculate about a potential boycott of the Winter Olympics. Nonetheless, he clearly said that discrimination of homosexual expression will lead to a “big problem.”

Moetko later said the law is meant to ban the promotion of homosexuality, not homosexuality itself. "But of course you have to respect the law of the country where you are," he said referring to visitors coming to Sochi for the 2014 Olympics.

Russia sent a written statement about the law to the IOC, which Rogge says is still unclear. More clarifications are needed before The IOC will deliver their definite perspective over the statement. According to NOS.nl, Rogge emphasized that Olympic games are not exclusive for certain groups of people and that discrimination is not a reason to forbid someone from joining the games.

The sentiment was echoed by U.S. President Barack Obama, who told one reporter, “One of the things I'm really looking forward to is maybe some gay and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold, the silver, or the bronze. Which I think would go a long way in rejecting in the kind of attitudes that we're seeing there.”

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