January 18 - International Boxing Association (AIBA) President CK Wu has supported the introduction of protest zones at the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi and insisted "basic human rights" must be respected.
The Taiwanese was speaking here at the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly following controversial comments yesterday by Russian President Vladimir Putin that gay people should "leave children in peace" during a meeting with Sochi 2014 volunteers.
There has been international condemnation of Russia's anti-gay propaganda laws introduced last year and led to several politicians announcing they will not attend the Games.
But Wu claimed sport should take precedence over politics at Sochi 2014.
"At least from an Olympic point of view, sport is a human rights, so based on that principle, the IOC and the Organising Committee have to defend this," Wu, who stood as a candidate to replace Jacques Rogge as IOC President last year, told insidethegames.
"This is a very good example of the IOC defending basic human rights.
"It sets a very clear message for the future because it is very important to make sure the Games relates only to the sport.
"Creating the free zone is a very important step because now, if you have something to say, you go to that zone to express yourself.
"This is one step forward for Russia also."
Several other IOC members attending the OCA backed Wu's plea for sport to be top of the agenda at Sochi 2014.
"It's a chance to see what sport is meant to be, and hopefully that will happen," the Philippines Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, elected only as an IOC member last September, told insidethegames.
"The Olympic spirit will prevail and bring everybody together, especially in Russia because it is also their Games and they want to keep a legacy.
"It will be nice to see everyone celebrate that spirit of excellence."
Sweden's Sports Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth is among the politicians who have publicly announced they will not attend the Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony on February 7 in protest at Russia's human rights record.
But her compatriot Gunilla Lindberg, a member of the IOC's ruling Executive Board and part of the Coordination Commission for Sochi 2014, does not believe it is up to them to interfere in a country's politics.
"We are a sport organisation there too make sport - it is the Olympics," she told insidethegames.
"The venues are completed and are great and I hope we can fulfil the competition and I'm sure we will."
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
January 2014: Putin tells Sochi 2014 volunteers gay people should "leave children in peace"
January 2014: Blatter claims politicians boycotting Sochi 2014 are "surrendering"
January 2014: Marc Naimark - Is the bus to the Sochi 2014 protest zone a local or an express?
January 2014: Finnish Sports Minister refuses to attend Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony
January 2014: Swedish Sports Minister to miss Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony