U.S. Olympic officials said on Tuesday that they would not stop athletes attending the Winter Olympics in Russia from showing support for gay rights.

“I want to make it very clear that we have not asked our athletes not to speak up,” Scott Blackmun, chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee said during a press conference from Park City, Utah. “What we are doing is: We're trying to make sure our athletes are aware of the law and aware of the possibility of consequences. Our job first and foremost is to make sure they're safe while they're in Russia.”

The Russian law in question, approved in June, prohibits the promotion of “gay propaganda” to minors. Its passage has provoked calls for a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Blackmun added that the USOC supports an amendment to the Olympic Charter to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“There appears to be some confusion about what the IOC [Olympic] Charter says about discrimination based on sexual orientation,” he said. “It says there will be no discrimination based on race, religion, politics or gender. I think there are people who'd like to see sexual orientation added to that list. We would support a change in that direction. The way the IOC is structured, the USOC as an NOC [National Olympic Committee] doesn't have a vote, but … I think there are things we can do within.”

“First and foremost, we are a sports organization. We're the only organization in the the world whose job it is to make sure American athletes get a chance to compete in the Olympic Games. We are not an advocacy organization or a human rights organization,” he said. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

(Related: Olympian Bode Miller calls Russian anti-gay law “absolutely embarrassing.”)