Sochi organizing committee leader asks for IOC’s help to stop ‘speculation’ over anti-gay law

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The clamor over Russia’s anti-gay law appears to be rattling Olympic organizers.

The head of this winter’s Sochi (SOH’-chee) games is asking the IOC to help stop speculation about how the law, which bans gay “proganda,” might affect participants.

Sochi organizing chief Dmitry Chernyshenko says the law doesn’t prohibit homosexuality in any way and says it “doesn’t contradict any element of the Olympic charter.”

IOC President Jacques Rogge says the IOC has received “strong reassurance” that the law will not affect the participants at the 2014 Winter Games. He’s also reminding athletes to refrain from any protests or political gestures during the games.

But, a senior IOC member describes sponsors as “afraid” of the fallout from possible demonstrations in Sochi. Marketing commission chairman Gerhard Heiberg says organizers have to be prepared, because the controversy “could ruin a lot.”

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