24 Aug 2013

Russia vows no discrimination at Olympics

12:20 pm on 24 August 2013

The International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge says Russian authorities have given "strong" assurances that gay and lesbian competitors at next year's Winter Olympics will not face discrimination.

Gay rights activists have led calls for a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Games in protest at Russia's notorious "gay propaganda" law.

The law, signed by President Vladimir Putin in June, punishes the dissemination of information about homosexuality to minors.

Activists say it can be used for a broad crackdown against gays - fuelling fears participants at the Winter Olympics could be targeted.

However Rogge says that Russian officials had assured Olympics organisers, athletes would not be affected and they accepted and respected the Olympic Charter.

Under the legislation foreigners can be fined nearly $4,000, detained for up to 15 days or expelled from the country.