International Olympic Committee
Dear Mr President,
First of all, please accept my heartfelt congratulations and sincere best wishes on the occasion that you have been elected to such a worldwide eminently position. I sincerely hope and wish you that the International Olympic Comity become rejuvenated and strengthened as a result of your activity, while the importance and impact that it goes far beyond the borders of the sport and the Olympic events. No exaggeration to say that the Olympic movement has become one of the most important shaper of people's future in many areas of the society and politics, in more and more countries of the world.
Since you have been engaged for many years in the work of the IOC, the tensions that have emerged in recent months about the Winter Olympic Games to be held in Sochi are exactly known for you. When Russia undertook the organizing of 2014 Winter Olympic Games then it also undertook and guaranteed that in the spirit of the IOC core values "... the country [Russia] and its public authorities will comply with and respect the Olympic Charter" (Olympic Charter, 33 §, 3). The Olympic Charter's provisions include the prohibition of discrimination: “27 § [The National Olympic Committee]:
2.5 to take action against any form of discrimination and violence in sport;”
This rule obviously extends the prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation as well, which clarifies the legal documents of the UN.
Emotional expressions of athletes and their family members, as well as the viewers and fans of sporting events in exciting or uplifting moments are naturally inherent in these events, especially in Olympic Games. They haven’t been attempted to conceal or suppress by the athletes, and spectators so far, and their presentation contributed to the enjoyment of the sport broadcasts. However, such emotional expressions can be qualified as crimes between same-sex couples, or legal same-sex spouses (who may be officially registered in their home country) according to current Russian law in force. It is well known that in recent years the legal framework of registered partnership or marriage for same-sex couples has been created in a number of countries around the world, providing equivalent legal status to same-sex couples as spouses of traditional marriages, therefore LGBT citizens living in these countries, expect to have the same rights as legally recognized spouses and want to be able to express their feelings toward their partners within the same freedom and the same social norms as a heterosexual life partners or spouses.
Russian legislation for LGBT people is a violation of basic human rights in general terms as well, but in addition, clearly represent discrimination against LGBT athletes and their families, thereby seriously infringe the Rule 27 § 2.5, cited above.
This situation was caused by a legislative process that has taken place in Russia after the conclusion of agreements concerning the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Thus Russia, as one of the signatories of the agreement, violated its obligation included in the Rule 33 § 3, cited above. In such a situation, the IOC must apply the provisions of Olympic Charter 36 § 2:
“2. In the event of non compliance with the Olympic Charter or other regulations or instructions of the IOC, or a breach of the obligations entered into by the NOC, the OCOG or the host city, the IOC is entitled to withdraw, at any time and with immediate effect, the organisation of the Olympic Games from the host city, the OCOG and the NOC, without prejudice to compensation for any damage thereby caused to the IOC. In such a case, the NOC, the OCOG, the host city, the country of the host city and all their governmental or other authorities, or any other party, whether at any city, local, state, provincial, other regional or national level, shall have no claim for any form of compensation against the IOC.”
The IOC – based on the reasons detailed above – is entitled to withdraw the right to host games from Russia, having violated its commitments.
Please consider these arguments, and take the necessary steps.
Budapest, September 13, 2013