IOC Says Sochi Olympians Can Speak Out Against Anti-LGBT Laws in Press Conferences

According to a recent article from Reuters, IOC President Thomas Bach has announced that athletes will not be penalized for speaking out about Russia’s anti-LGBT laws to the press in Sochi.

In a statement, Bach said “[…] athletes enjoy freedom of speech so if in a press conference they wanted to make a political statement they are absolutely free to do so.”

This is encouraging news for groups like Athlete Ally and All Out, who have worked with dozens of Olympians to advocate for the upholding of Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter, which states that “sport does not discriminate on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender, or otherwise.”

We hope this news convinces more athletes to speak out while in Sochi, as it’s now explicitly clear that they nor their respective Olympics Committees will suffer sanctions.

To further support the idea of Principle 6, go to to change your social media avatar.