olympics / russia

Russian gay activists say IOC chief refused meeting

Mikhail Klimentyev, RIA Novosti/AP (Pool)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, listens to newly appointed IOC President Thomas Bach, center, during the opening ceremony of a railway station in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, Monday.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian gay activists say the new president of the International Olympic Committee refused to meet with them while visiting the 2014 Winter Games city of Sochi.

Preparations for the Sochi Olympics have been overshadowed by criticism of a recently enacted Russian law outlawing “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors.”Many worry the law may apply to gay athletes and visitors.

LGBT Network said in a statement Wednesday that Thomas Bach turned down their invitation to sit with activists, offering to meet at an unspecified date in Lausanne, Switzerland, instead.

Activists say they have been asking for a meeting for more than two weeks.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams says in a statement that they can meet this week at IOC headquarters in Lausanne and “we look forward to welcoming them.”

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