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Bobsled hunk accuses Russia of censoring blog over his gay rights views

Canadian Olympian's site unavailable in Russia, potentially for gay material
The Canadian bobled team's pilot has had his website blocked in Russia

Straight Canadian Olympian Justin Kripps is accusing Russia of censoring his website for allegedly violating gay propaganda laws.

The bobsledder used his site to keep fans updated on his activities, but after arriving in Sochi and trying to log on, he found himself blocked.

Three weeks ago, a topless picture of him and his teammates went viral online for obvious reasons. Blogger Andrew Sullivan declared them the 'beards of the week'.

A translation of the error message came up and gave three possible reasons for access being refused.

These reasons could be:

  • Because of a law or court decision
  • Because the source spreads information prohibited in the Russian Federation and law
  • Copyright infringement.

Because his site automatically updates his tweets, this means a pro-gay message could have been published there.

In response, the pilot of Canada’s bobsled team tweeted: 'Looks like my website is censored in Russia haha classic #SochiProblems I wonder if there’s a camera in my room'.

Thouugh no decisive reason for the block has been given yet, it has been speculated that Kripps’ site was blocked due to Russia’s 2013 ban on the 'propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations amongst minors', essentially the promotion of LGBT rights.

On 6 February, Kripps also tweeted a link to a video from the 'Keep The Games Gay', by the Canadian Institute of Diversity. The campaign began as a response to Russia’s anti-gay laws, and points out the inherent 'gayness' of the Olympic Games.

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