The International Olympic Committee is reportedly investigating homophobic and transphobic comments made on Russian television this week.
As reported by The Times, members of the LGBT community were referred to as “dirt”, “perverts” and “psychopaths” on programs 60 Minutes and Time Will Tell.
Russian presenter Olga Skabeyeva took aim at British diver Tom Daley on Rossiya 1’s 60 Minutes after he won gold in the men’s 10m synchronised platform final at the Tokyo Games.
Aleksandr Bondar and Viktor Minibaev of the Russian Olympic Committee claimed bronze in the event.
“In Britain, of course, they have their own values,” Skabeyeva said over images of Daley with husband Dustin Lance Black.
“If these guys weren’t raising a child together, then it’d be their business. They at least compete with other blokes.”
Skabeyeva then reportedly claimed it was unfair New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was competing against other women at the Tokyo Games.
Hubbard contested the +87kg weightlifting category in a debut the IOC described as the first appearance by an openly transgender woman at an Olympics.
Russian politician Alexei Zhuravlev added: “We stand opposed to all this profanity and perversion … We stand against this scum.”
Zhuravlev then argued members of the LGBT community should not be allowed to compete in the Olympics.
Meanwhile on Channel One’s Time Will Tell, presenter Anatoly Kuzichev put on a wig with pigtails and called transgender people “psychopaths”, saying they needed psychiatric treatment.
The IOC said in a statement to the BBC: “We have been in contact with our contractual broadcasting partner in Russia in order to get clarity on the situation and to underline the fundamental principles of the Olympic charter and we are following up accordingly.”
Speaking to Shortlist, Daley revealed he had skipped a Russian competition in 2014 because he believed it was “too risky and unsafe”.
“Then, when everyone got back, I really kicked myself for not going,” he said. “I’d let other people rule by fear.”
Following his Olympic triumph last week, Daley said: “I hope that any young LGBT person out there can see that no matter how alone you feel right now, you are not alone. That you can achieve anything and that there is a whole lot of your chosen family out here, ready to support you.”
Daley will be hunting another medal in the men’s 10m platform individual event on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Hubbard praised the IOC for showing “moral leadership” in adopting inclusive policies that allowed her to participate at the Games.
“I’m not sure that a role model is something I could ever aspire to be, instead I hope that just by being I can provide some sense of encouragement,” she told reporters.
Putin hails Russia’s performance in Tokyo
President Vladimir Putin on Friday hailed the performance of Russia’s Olympic athletes, who are competing in Tokyo under a neutral banner due to their country’s doping suspension.
Speaking to factory workers on a visit outside Moscow, the Russian president said the doping ban did not affect the country’s team.
“Through their performance our athletes are proving in the best possible way that all attempts to politicise sport are insignificant, meaningless and even harmful,” Putin said on a visit to the region of Bashkortostan in the Urals.
Russia are banned from Tokyo 2020 after being found guilty of state-sponsored doping, meaning their athletes cannot use the Russian flag and anthem.
But more than 300 Russian competitors have been allowed to compete under the ROC moniker, and they have won 17 golds to lie fifth in the medals table.
Russian competitors wear neutral clothing, while a fragment from composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s concerto for piano and orchestra no. 1 has replaced the country’s anthem.
“So we are speaking about the absence of the Russian flag. Yes, it would be better if it were there,” Putin said.
“They like Tchaikovsky’s music more than Alexandrov’s music?” he added in an apparent reference to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
“Well I don’t know, let they listen to Tchaikovsky,” Putin added. “Let the world learn Russian classics.”
Composer Alexander Alexandrov wrote the music for the country’s anthem. Russian athletes are banned from taking part in major international events with their anthem and under their flag until 2022 following a decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last year.
Putin expressed hope that attempts to “pinch” Russia will end in 2022 and the country will be able to consider hosting major sporting events.
The Kremlin chief once again said that the doping ban was political and that sports officials had come under pressure from politicians.
Suspicions still linger in Tokyo, however.
Last week American swimmer Ryan Murphy said he had been “swimming in a race that’s probably not clean” after Russian Evgeny Rylov beat him in the 200m backstroke, drawing a furious response from Moscow.