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NBC Sports vague over plans to cover Russia's anti-gay laws during Olympics

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The Guardian
|
July 29, 2013

The head of NBC Sports has responded to calls for the TV network to put a spotlight on Russia's draconian new anti-gay laws in its coverage of the upcoming Winter Olympics, saying there would be reporting of the issue but only if it should emerge as a problem during the games.

Mark Lazarus, chairman of the NBC Sports division, told an audience at the Television Critics Association in Beverly Hills that the issue of Russia's clampdown on gay men and lesbians had already been dealt with by the International Olympic Committee. "The IOC has addressed it with the Russian government and has assured athletes, fans and media that there won't be any issues," he said, adding that should the new laws impacted any part of the Winter Olympics "we will make sure we are acknowledging it and recognising it".

The comments from Lazarus are unlikely to tamp down calls from the LGBT community for NBC to highlight Russia's aggressively anti-gay laws in its coverage of the Winter Olympics that is begin in Sochi on 6 February and run for 18 days. There have been widespread calls for protests and a boycott of the games.