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U.S. Olympic Committee chair would amend charter adding sexual orientation as form of discrimination


PARK CITY, Utah -- America's newest member of the International Olympic Committee would vote to amend the Olympic charter to list sexual orientation as a form of discrimination.

U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst, voted onto the IOC last month, said such an amendment is one of the few avenues available to the USOC as it tries to send a message to Russia, which recently passed an anti-gay law, less than a year before it hosts the Winter Olympics.

The sixth item in the charter's "Fundamental Principles of Olympism" says "any form of discrimination ... on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement." It does not specifically mention sexual orientation.

"If it came to a vote of IOC members, I would absolutely vote yes to amend the charter," Probst said Tuesday during a news conference at the USOC media summit.

Probst reiterated that an American boycott of the Sochi Olympics is not an option, but asked what moves the USOC could make, both Probst and CEO Scott Blackmun mentioned the possible amendment, which would have to be done at a future IOC meeting.

"There are people who would like to see sexual orientation added to that list," Blackmun said. "We'd support a change in that direction."

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