IOC: Russia's anti-gay law won't apply to Olympians

July 26, 2013 at 2:04 PM

MOSCOW, July 26 (UPI) -- The International Olympic Committee said Russian officials have said those attending next year's Winter Olympics will be exempt from a new anti-gay law.

The IOC said it received "assurances from the highest level" of the Russian government that the law, which bans anything that can be seen as promoting homosexuality, will not apply to athletes and spectators attending next year's Olympics in Sochi, R-Sport, an affiliate of RIA Novosti, reported Friday.

"As a sporting organization, what we can do is to continue to work to ensure that the games can take place without discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators and the media," the IOC said. "To that end, the IOC has received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the games."

The IOC statement said the legislation "has just been passed into law, and it remains to be seen whether and how it will be implemented, particularly as regards the games in Sochi."

A spokesman for President Vladimir Putin could not be reached for comment, R-Sport said.

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