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IOC board member: International Olympic Committee unhappy with Russia over anti-gay law

BY ROB HARRIS, AP SPORTS WRITER

LONDON -- A senior IOC official says the Olympic movement is unhappy with Russia for implementing anti-gay legislation ahead of the Sochi Games.

C.K. Wu, an executive board member who is running for the IOC presidency, says Russia has been asked to provide assurances there won't be restrictions on athletes that run counter to the Olympic charter.

Russia's law bans "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" and imposes fines on those holding gay pride rallies.

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has insisted Russia wouldn't back down under political pressure, saying Sochi competitors must respect the laws.

But Wu says Russia must guarantee there will be no discrimination against athletes, stressing: "We are not joking. So they have to really find the best solution ... our message is cross, very clear."

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There's a broader problem that a series of anti-gay Russian laws are calculated to scapegoat and defame a minority -- suggesting that all gay adults are dangerous to children, a known falsehood -- and also that these laws represent extreme limits on freedom of expression and assembly. For an IOC spokesperson just to say that they're unhappy with this situation, instead of leveraging it for change, is virtually meaningless.

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