Russian TV attacks Tom Daley with homophobic insults

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Olympic chiefs will investigate anti-LGBT and homophobic slurs targeting Tom Daley and New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard on Russian TV

  • Daley targeted in a show in which panellist called LGBT people an ‘abomination’ 
  • On another state channel, a host wore a wig to mock Kiwi trans athlete Hubbard
  • IOC said it had contacted its broadcasting partner in Russia over the comments 










Russian state TV has attacked Tom Daley with homophobic insults and labelled transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard a ‘psychopath’, prompting an investigation by the International Olympic Committee.

Daley, who won a diving gold medal for Team GB, was targeted on Rossiya 1 which aired homophobic slurs, including one of the panellists describing LGBT people as an ‘abomination.’

MP Alexei Zhuravlyov also pointed at a screen showing Kiwi trans athlete Hubbard, referring to her participation as ‘smut and perversion.’

Over on Channel One, a presenter donned a wig to mock Hubbard. 

The IOC, which banned Russia from competing in Tokyo over state-sponsored doping, said in a statement that ‘discrimination has absolutely no place at the Olympic Games.’

Channel One host Anatoly Kuzichev donned a wig to mock Hubbard and branded trans people 'psychopaths' and said they needed psychiatric treatment

Channel One host Anatoly Kuzichev donned a wig to mock Hubbard and branded trans people ‘psychopaths’ and said they needed psychiatric treatment

New Zealander Laurel Hubbard made history this week as the first trans athlete to compete in a solo event at the Games

New Zealander Laurel Hubbard made history this week as the first trans athlete to compete in a solo event at the Games

‘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,’ the statement continued.

Hubbard, 43, became the first ever trans athlete to compete at the Games earlier this week, an appearance which has been highly controversial.

However, the debate by panellists on Rossiya’s 60 Minutes programme was filled with derogatory language and insults levelled at Hubbard.

‘I do not think transgender people have any prospects in Russia, because they love men, while Russian men love women,’ said Spiridon Kilinkarov, a former member of the Ukrainian parliament.

The show’s presenter Olga Skabeyeva did not challenge any of the guests.

She even suggested that the European Union had withdrawn funding from Hungary and Poland because ‘the majority is against homosexuality’ in these nations.

Over on state-owned Channel One, they had a similarly anti-LGBT discussion during a programme aired on the same day.

As well as mockingly wearing a wig, the host Anatoly Kuzichev branded trans people ‘psychopaths’ and said they needed psychiatric treatment.

MP Pyotr Tolstoy told the host that the inclusion of LGBT athletes was part of a Western ploy to ‘implant their agenda of equal rights, additional rights for LGBT, transgender people and other perverts into the Olympic movement.’

Tom Daley competing at Tokyo on Friday. He won a gold medal in the men's 10m synchronised diving for Team GB

Tom Daley competing at Tokyo on Friday. He won a gold medal in the men’s 10m synchronised diving for Team GB

State-backed homophobia is rife in Russia where many of Vladimir Putin’s supporters and his allies in the Orthodox Church take a firm stand against gay rights.

Putin has previously described it as his ‘duty’ to prevent gay marriage to ‘reinforce families.’

In April, he said Russia would not legalise gay marriage as long as he was in the Kremlin.

He said he would not let the traditional notion of a mother and father be subverted by what he called ‘parent number 1’ and ‘parent number 2’.

Homosexuality in Russia – where the influence of the socially conservative Orthodox Church has grown in recent years – was a criminal offence until 1993, and classed as a mental illness until 1999.

Under Russian law, only heterosexual couples can adopt children. 

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