Christine Milne challenges IOC over LGBTI discrimination in Russia
After expressing her concern to the IOC in regards to the treatment of LGBTI people in Russia and the suitability of Sochi as a destination for the Olympics given the Putin government’s recent anti gay propaganda law, Greens leader Senator Christine Milne has finally received a response to her letter to IOC President Rogge.
The reply from IOC Director General Christophe Kepper, says the IOC agrees the Olympics “should be free from discrimination” and but adds the IOC’s remit is “limited to the scope of the Games” and says the IOC “cannot influence national legislation and has to respect the laws of any host country”.
The letter continues to say the IOC is in discussions with the “highest levels’ of Russia government and has received assurances the games can take place without any discrimination.
Milne says she is dissatisfied with the IOC’s response:
“We may have reassurances that the games will be free from discrimination but their decision is based entirely on logistics: we’re essentially being told it’s too hard to move the games regardless of the appalling reports we’ve heard out of Russia in recent times.
“How high a consideration should this kind of discrimination be for the IOC in the choice of location for the games? Much higher than this I’d say.
“Given the seven year lead time for a decision, what priority did the IOC place on the responsibility under their own charter to act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement?
“I intend to write back to ask the IOC how it incorporates this principle into its decision making, or is it now just window dressing and determined by geo-politics?”