AFP – Germany’s former world cycling champion and London 2012 silver medallist Judith Arndt has criticised Russia’s laws against homosexuality and called for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
In June, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin signed a law against “homosexual propaganda” punishing any act which educates minors about homosexuality.
The law has been criticised as discriminatory by human rights groups and drawn criticism from around the world, six months before the Olympic Games in Sochi in southern Russia.
Arndt criticised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for awarding the Games, due to be held from February 7-23, to Sochi.
“We should boycott Sochi,” Arndt told German broadcaster Sport1.
“They simply should not have awarded the Games to Russia.
“In addition to the new laws, the system in Russia is inhumane.
“Countries like that should not be allowed to host these events — the same goes for China and Beijing in 2008.”
The 37-year-old is in a same-sex relationship and won a time trial silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics, while she has won three gold medals at previous world championships.
But Arndt, who did not boycott Beijing in 2008 and actually finished sixth in the time trial, says athletes will put their own careers over making a stand and does not think a boycott will take place.
“For athletes, the Olympics is the biggest event and they will put the event over the human factor, that’s why I don’t believe there will actually be a boycott,” she added.