With less than two weeks to go until the IAAF Track and Field World Championships in Moscow, Russia is in the media spotlight for warning athletes and spectators attending the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi of the consequences for violating the country’s anti-gay laws.
Last month, a new law was signed by Russian President Vladamir Putin forbidding any “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,” which means any public displays of affection, rainbow flag displays and even holding hands between members of the same sex could result in a fine, arrest or deportation.
The International Olympic Committee issued its own statement stating those attending or participating in the Winter Games would not be affected by the legislation. Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko told R-Sport that gay athletes would not be banned from competing, but if propagandizing takes place, they will be held accountable for their actions.
The IAAF responded to a statement request by Flotrack with the following:
"We are fully confident that all athletes and officials taking part in the World Championships in Moscow will not be subject to any discriminatory treatment as a result of nationality, religion or sexual orientation, since this is something that is enshrined in Article 3 of our own constitution."
Article 3 of the IAAF Constitution states one of the objects of the IAAF is:
"To strive to ensure that no gender, race, religious, political or other kind of unfair discrimination exists, continues to exist, or is allowed to develop in Athletics in any form, and that all may participate in Athletics regardless of their gender, race, religious or political views or any other irrelevant factor. "
The Moscow 2013 Twitter account also replied to a tweet put out by a fan.
— Moscow 2013 (@mos2013com) August 1, 2013