IOC leader open to including 'sexual orientation' in Olympic charter

OlympicsDiscriminationSocial IssuesGay RightsInternational Olympic Committee

SOCHI, Russia -- Speaking to reporters just days before the 2014 Sochi Games, the top Olympic official said he is open to adding language to the Olympic charter that specifically addresses discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, insisted on Monday that "we stand against any kind of discrimination for whatever reason."

Gay rights have become an issue at these Games because of a controversial Russian law that criminalizes "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" in the presence of minors.

The charter currently states: "Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement."

Asked about expanding that language, Bach said: "I'm open for discussion and I guess that, in the debate we're going to have in Sochi, this question may be addressed and we will discuss it further."

Bach reiterated that Russian officials have told him the law will not be enforced on athletes who speak about gay rights during press conferences.

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