Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has reiterated that the election of a Games host nation does not always mean his organisation is supporting the political or the legal systems in place there.
Speaking at the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF) Congress in Copenhagen, the German said that while the IOC must be politically neutral it has to consider the implications of its decisions when naming host cities.
"Choosing a host city does not mean that the IOC necessarily agrees with the political or the legal system in the host country," Bach told the audience.
"It means however that in every country where we organise Olympic Games we want to send the strong message of tolerance, respect and fair play as well as the compliance with all the values of the Olympic Charter for all participants at the Olympic Games."
He went on to use Russia as an example when the nation introduced a law prohibiting the public promotion of homosexual orientation ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
The legislation undoubtedly cast a shadow over the Games preparations and sparked global protests, with some quarters calling for a boycott of the event.
However, Bach said the IOC fully respected the assurances from Russia that this law would not apply for any of the participants of the Games.
The IOC has since added a non-discrimination clause to its Host City contract for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, for which the Kazakh city of Almaty and China's capital Beijing are bidding.
"Sport can neither save the world alone nor can it alone make the world a better and peaceful place," Bach added.
"But sport has the power to contribute to a better harmonious and peaceful world."
The IOC President was joined at the Congress by Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, who is an IOC member, DIF President Niels Nygaard and Danish Minister of Cultural Affairs Marianne Jelved.
Bach also gave details about Olympic Agenda 2020, which was unanimously agreed by IOC members at the 127th Session in Monaco last December.
He said many of the recommendations have already been implemented.
"We are always working for building bridges and never for erecting walls, that we follow this call for tolerance and solidarity," Bach concluded.
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