IOC Gamble on Making Yelena Isinbayeva Youth Ambassador Failed
Pole vault great Yelena Isinbayeva came under fire as she publicly spoke out against homosexuality and support Russia's Anti-gay laws. Yelena also criticized Swedish athletes who painted their fingernails in rainbow colors to support gays and lesbians in the face of a new anti-gay law in Russia at the IAAF World Competitions being held, this month, in Russia.
Yelena's comments would have possibly been over looked had it not been for the fact that Yelena Isinbayeva is one of the IOC official "Youth Ambassadors" and the Mayor Of 2014 Sochi Olympic Village.
Although the IAAF, the sport's governing body, said both opinions should be respected, it was clear from Yelena that she was favoring one opinion with was deemed clearly homophobic. Fearing this would affect the image of the IOC and future sporting events, the IAAF was quick to have Yelena rephrase her statement but the original video of her press conference was impossible to correct.
Fellow athletes, like British heptathlete Louise Hazel, are crying fowl and asking for the International Olympic Committee to review Yelena Isinbayeva’s role as an ambassador for the Youth Olympics.
As more scandals builds, Russia is also being accused of abusing construction workers and suppressing the human rights groups that try to report Russia’s abuses.
However, the scandals haven’t stopped there, as Russian officials are now questioning billions of dollars lost and inside deals to place a winter sport in a sub-tropic location such as Sochi. Opposition leaders Boris Nemtzov and Leonid Martynyuk released a report claiming that more than $30 billion of monies allocated to Sochi projects have gone missing and have called for a full investigation both by the Russian Federation and the IOC.
Most feel that Putin's overriding power in Russia means that any kind of formal investigation is virtually unthinkable.
The 2014 Sochi Olympic games are proving very damaging for the IOC image as scandals have plague the sporting event since Russia openly violated their IOC agreement and passed a series of anti-gay laws which goes against the IOC policy of non discrimination and respect.
As Yelena Isinbayeva is one of Russia’s sports leaders and has won three World Championship golds and is a two-time Olympic champion.