Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • French teenage girls held over Syria jihad plans

    Read more

  • Good borders make good neighbours, Merkel tells Ukraine

    Read more

  • Iceland issues aviation alert on volcano activity

    Read more

  • France will not be 'be pushed around' by Germany

    Read more

  • Libya withdraws as Africa Cup of Nations host

    Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Suicide bomber targets Iraq intelligence HQ in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Video: Israel bombs kidnapping suspect’s home

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • Ebola prompts Philippines to recall UN troops in Liberia

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels in face-to-face talks

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US job market yet to recover from recession, says Fed Chair

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

Europe

Russia says athletes rights will be respected at Sochi

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-08-08

Russia's sports minister said Thursday that the rights of all athletes at the Sochi Games will be respected and called on international critics of the country's new anti-gay law to "calm down".

Urging critics of Russia’s new anti-gay law to “calm down,” the country’s sports minister said Thursday that the rights of all athletes competing at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi will be respected.

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko did insist that athletes would ‘’have to respect the laws of the country” during the Feb. 7-23 games in the Black Sea resort in southern Russia.

The law, signed by President Vladimir Putin in June, bans “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” and imposes fines on those holding gay pride rallies.

Mutko said ‘’the athletes can come and compete” and the chase for medals should be their primary concern.

‘’This is a sports forum,” he said. “This is a sports festival and we have to talk only about it.”

Mutko raised concern last week among gay rights advocates with comments that the law would be enforced during the Sochi Games.

On Thursday, he insisted that, beyond the law, Russia has ‘’a constitution that guarantees to all citizens rights for the private life and privacy.”

“Rest assured that all the athletes and all the sports organizations should be relaxed,” he said.

Mutko said the issue had been blown out of proportion by a groundswell of protest and unease outside Russia.

‘’I want to ask you to calm down,” he said.

Mutko spoke at a news conference two days before the opening of the world athletics championships in Moscow.

The International Association of Athletics Federations has urged Russia to reconsider its views on gay rights, but IAAF President Lamine Diack said Thursday the federation did not want to raise political issues about the law.

"I don’t have the feeling there is a problem whatsoever,” Diack said. ‘’There is a law that exists. The law has to be respected. Some things have to be respected. We are here for the world championships.”

 

 

 

(AP)

Date created : 2013-08-08

  • RUSSIA

    Russian MPs vote to ban adoption for gay couples abroad

    Read more

  • RUSSIA

    Russian lawmakers approve anti-gay bill in 436-0 vote

    Read more

COMMENT(S)