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British Athletes Commission expresses concern for athletes aiming for Sochi 2014

The British Athletes Commission (BAC), the association for all athletes on World Class Performance Funding in Olympic and Paralympic sports, today added its weight to the growing concern about the potential impact of the ‘anti-gay laws’ in Russia. The apprehension comes at a critical time as BAC members make their final preparations for the Winter Games in Sochi in 2014. The BAC is also pleased to see that both the Prime Minister David Cameron and Lord Coe have spoken against the call for a boycott of the Games as it is the athlete community that would suffer if a boycott took place. Zac Purchase MBE, himself an Olympian and Chair of the BAC’s Athlete Advisory Group said, “The BAC fully supports the Equality in Sport initiative and will stand up for our membership where there is any potential case of discrimination; this includes sexual orientation. Sochi 2014 represents the final goal for the GB Team after four years of sacrifice and commitment. Concerns about possible prosecution and even just knowing that the political environment is anti-gay could negatively affect an athlete’s performance. Depriving an athlete of the opportunity to be as good as they can be on a world stage is just not acceptable.”

One of the key services that the BAC offers its members is impartial and confidential advice. The BAC will support and provide advice to any of its individual members who approach them with concerns about going to and competing in the Winter Olympics.

Notes to editors


  • The BAC is a funded partner of UK Sport, and was formed in 2004
  • There are over 1,500 members of the BAC across over 40 sports
  • The organisation is chaired by Karen Pickering MBE, former Olympian and World Champion
  • Follow the BAC on Twitter - @TheBAC
  • Further information on the BAC can be found at www.britishathletes.org or by contacting the CEO Ian Braid at [email protected], Tel: 0203 126 4270.


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