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IOC-Countdown (25 Tage): what the six presidential candidates have to say about Russia’s anti-gay-law, Isinbayeva and Sochi 2014

Wait and see.

While waiting:

I told the six gentlemen, candidates for IOC presidency, that I am going to publish their answers in length immediately upon receipt.

[poll id=“25″]

13.34: Waiting 4 hours now. Given the fact that this topic is discussed worldwide I think at least a first respond from one of the 6 candidates would be appropriate. But: there is no reaction so far. Sources told me about multi-bilateral discussions between the candidates right now … I have not a clue.

And, yes, I have sent a second email one hour after my questionnaire, telling the 6 gentlemen that I have already started to blog and tweet about these questions.

I say it again: wait and see.

20.07: Ten hours after. Only one candidate has replied so far. (I am sorry but this is very poor and disappointing.)

Surprisingly the man with the tightest programe these days has sent a first answer: Sergey Bubka.

Mr Bubka’s media assistant wrote:

Dear Jens,

thanks a lot for your e-mail. Sergey will be happy to answer the questions that you have sent him. As you will appreciate, he has an intense schedule until the conclusion of the World Athletics Championships in Moscow. He wanted to let you know that he will send through his responses on Monday.

Ok. I/we have to wait until Monday.

And the other five candidates?

20.16: In the moment I am asking the question I received a second quick response. The secretary of Mr Carrión is sending his excuses and promises a call later today or tomorrow.

Ok. I am very patient.

And I strike the question I wanted to asked:

Excuse me, guys, are you maneuvering and calculating too much? No cojones to respond? 

  • Responses: only two of six.
  • Answers: None.

Saturday, 01.07: I am quite late. This is the email I received two and a half hours ago, Friday evening, 22.31 Berlin time:

Dear Jens,

Thank you for your message addressed to the six presidential candidates. They asked us to reply to you on their behalf as they all approve the IOC position on the important topic of LGBT rights in Russia in the context of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

The International Olympic Committee is clear that sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation. The Games themselves should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media and of course athletes. We would oppose in the strongest terms any move that would jeopardise this principle.

As you know, the Russian 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. As a sporting organisation, 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.  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. As you will understand, it would be inappropriate and counterproductive to comment publically on the details of our discussions while they are ongoing.

Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter is in place to ensure the Games remain free from proactive protests and demonstrations of any kind. It should not be seen as a sanction but rather as a means to protect the athletes who might be pressured to use the Games as a platform to make statements. It is thanks to this rule that athletes from over 200 nations can and will continue to compete in a neutral environment. Again, the IOC will always take a sensible approach when dealing with potential actions and always act on a case by case basis.

Finally, regarding Yelena Isinbayeva, we take note of her statement this morning. Clearly English is not her mother tongue and she has now clarified that she was misunderstood and that she is ‚opposed to any kind of discrimination against gay people’. We can only reiterate that the Olympic Games should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media and of course athletes.

Best regards,

Christophe De Kepper/Mark Adams

Christophe de Kepper = IOC General Director

Mark Adams = IOC Director of Communications

These are my questions:

  1. Is this law compatible with the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter?
  2. Will you require any changes for the period of the Olympic Winter Games 2014? (For the entire Olympic family including athletes, officials, spectators etc pp.)
  3. One week after the IOC has received and translated the full text of the anti-gay-law: What kind of reassurances will you demand?
  4. According to news reports (quoting an IOC spoke person, published worldwide) any sort of protest against the anti-gay-law in Russia at the Sochi Games (rainbow colors, rainbow flag etc pp) is considered to be a „political demonstration“, contradicting rule 50 of the Olympic Charter. Protesting athletes could be punishable by possible disqualification. Do you share such a view?
  5. Do you still consider Yelena Isinbayeva as a worthy ambassador for YOG 2014 and a worthy Mayor of the Olympic Village 2014? Should the IOC Executive Board discuss a deduction of these positions at the next meeting in Buenos Aires?

I am going to solve the puzzle tomorrow – getting Q & A in the right order :)


12 Gedanken zu „IOC-Countdown (25 Tage): what the six presidential candidates have to say about Russia’s anti-gay-law, Isinbayeva and Sochi 2014“

  1. mensch, so viele stellungnahmen schon — überrascht mich irgendwie… nicht.

    vermintes gelände, polarisierendes thema, wenig zu gewinnen, viel zu verlieren. denn ich könnte mir gut vorstellen, dass so mancher (um nicht zu sagen: die mehrheit?) der wahlmänner (und -frauen) nicht so ganz auf dem westlich-liberalen standpunkt steht.

    da wäre dann natürlich schlecht (regenbogen-)flagge zeigen. also oberste kandidaten-devise: kopf einziehen und abwarten bis der gröbste shitstorm vorübergezogen ist. es folgt ein sorgsam geschliffenes kompromiss-statement — am besten von allen/mehreren kandidaten gemeinsam — in dem vor allem die gemeinsamen olympischen werte gepriesen werden und natürlich die trennung von sport und politik.

    wäre so meine taktik ;-)

  2. Zur Umfrage:

    Ich hätte auf die

    die Frage nach dem Wunsch

    Wer soll am 10. September 2013 in Buenos Aires IOC-Präsident werden?

    und die Frage nach der Vermutung

    Wer wird am 10. September 2013 in Buenos Aires IOC-Präsident werden?

    möglicherweise verschiedene Antworten…

  3. … und deshalb beginnen wir eine Woche vorher eine neue Umfrage.

    Ich hatte in diesem Beitrag zunächst unachtsam in Beitrag und Umfrage zwischen „soll“ und „wird“ unterschieden – und dies dann nach einem Hinweis angeglichen.

  4. What a pathetic organization!

    Just caving under Russian pressure. New definition of “political propaganda” unworthy of the Olympics. How a Pride House could be permitted in the previous two Olympics under the Olympic Charter?

    I would declare the five rings as propaganda, as a symbol of propaganda for a bunch of people with no understanding of basic human rights.

  5. Didn’t know that sport is a human right. Maybe someone should tell the UN to update their website — currently they present an obviously faulty (or outdated) version not mentioning sport at all! Or is sport a kind of über-human-right, so obvious and fundamental that it is not necessary to mention it explicitly? We should ask HP „Supergrundrecht“ Friedrich on that one…

  6. It clearly is problematic to host an event that promises to include any and all people regardless of ethnicity, sex, and sexual orientation in a country that does not agree with those (imho) basic tenets.
    As a boycott of those games would hurt those athletes who have spent months and years preparing for it, particularly those that are somewhat outside the spotlight, the question is: Is it viable to hold the 2014 winter games elsewhere at this considerable short notice? I have severe doubts that this is possible – and I also doubt that there is a high probability of the Russian government caving to international pressure. This leaves us with the problem of a) holding the games in Sotchi and relying on the Russian government to make good on their assurances (which will change nothing with regard to the fundamental problem that this particular law constitutes), or b) an Olympic boycott on an individual basis which would, rather predictably, not lead to a large boycott at all, as athletes are under a degree of pressure to pay back some of the investment that their sponsors (Bundeswehr et al.) have made into them.

    It is an entirely unpleasant scenario in which I would nevertheless prefer to hear something less kowtowing from the IOC and its members (excluding Prince Frederik who apparently has made a rather clear statement), despite my doubts that this would change anything.

    Would pressure from the Olympic sponsors change anything?

  7. Pingback: IOC-Countdown (24 Tage): Wenn IOC-Präsidentschaftskandidaten gefragt werden, antwortet die IOC-Administration ausweichend #anti-gay-law #Sochi2014 : sport and politics

  8. „Pressure“ from sponsors is, sorry to say, pure theory. I can not see any real will/request. And I can hardly remember sponsor’s action against … doping, corruption, homophobia etc pp.

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