Mark Tewksbury blasts IOC for Sochi winning Olympic bid

Canadian swimmer Mark Tewksbury (left) and Olympic gold medalist Kristina Groves speak at

Canadian swimmer Mark Tewksbury (left) and Olympic gold medalist Kristina Groves speak at "Sochi Olympics -- The Politics of Sports" a debate put on by The Somar Speaker Series at Mount Royal University in Calgary on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. (Mike Drew/QMI Agency)

DANIEL AUSTIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:24 AM ET

CALGARY - Don’t blame the athletes competing in Sochi for not speaking out about politically sensitive topics.

The way Mark Tewksbury sees it, that responsibility lies with the International Olympic Committee, and the Canadian Olympic gold medalist wants to see that organization held accountable for awarding one of sport’s biggest showcases to a country with a deplorable human rights record.

“I am pissed off at the IOC for putting athletes in this position,” said Tewksbury, who won Olympic gold in the 100-metre backstroke at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. “The protest should not be the responsibility of the individual athletes, it should be the responsibility of the governing body that made the decision to go to Sochi in the first place.”

”I just find it really disgusting if we’re asking gay and lesbian athletes to come to a country that ... has explicitly named you as kind of being hated.”

There were calls for an athlete-led boycott of the Sochi Olympics when details of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws first emerged last summer.


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