IOC could add anti-discrimination clause to bid rules

Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:15am EST
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By Karolos Grohmann

Sochi, Russia (Reuters) - Future Olympic bidders may have to abide by a specific anti-discrimination rule modelled on the Olympic Charter's Principle 6 if they are to be awarded the Games, the International Olympic Committee said on Tuesday.

Principle 6 says sport does not discriminate on any grounds, including race, religion, politics or gender.

The IOC had to fend off criticism in the run-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics over Russia's anti-gay propaganda law, which critics say curtailed the rights of homosexuals in the country.

They say the IOC has turned a blind eye to the controversial law, which was passed last year.

The law triggered a wave of reaction from athletes and politicians with several world leaders opting not to travel to Russia for the Games.

The IOC has said it cannot dictate laws in a sovereign state but said it had received assurances from Russian President Vladimir Putin there would be no discrimination against homosexuals during the February 7-23 Games.

"We have made it absolutely crystal clear that Principle 6 covers all forms of discrimination," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told reporters when asked whether it could become a pre-condition for cities campaigning to host the Games.

"Could it be changed? It can be changed," he said.   Continued...

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games February 15, 2014. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin