Pete Evans - Friday Feb. 7, 2014 07:40 ET

Bobsledder Justin Kripps's website partially banned in Russia?

Canadian posted picture of stripped-down teammates

Bobsledders strip down
Justin Kripps posted this picture of himself and his bobsledding teammates.

The website of Canadian Olympic bobsledder Justin Kripps has been disallowed on some sites in Russia, after an image he posted of himself and his teammates in their underwear last month went viral. 

The image, posted on Kripps's personal website Jan. 17, spread rapidly on social media and received coverage by various mainstream news organizations.

Kripps is in Sochi for the Winter Olympics, and discovered the page wouldn't load after he logged into his website from his cellphone. 

Instead, he saw an error message in Russian text.

He ran the text through an online translator, which said the website had been "restricted" in Russia. The error message says the website has been restricted for information prohibited by Russian law.

According to a Russian translator working for CBC in Sochi, the message said "access to this site website is limited."

The message cited three possible reasons, the translator said, including:

  • A court decision.
  • It is a source which spreads information which is prohibited in the Russian federation and law. (Then it lists other addresses already on this list.)
  • The website is using information from right holders that it shouldn't be.

CBC's social media lead, Monika Platek, says speculation is the law in question is Russia's infamous one that bans gay propaganda. 

Platek, who spoke to Kripps on Friday, said if his site was banned because of the law, the law has gone too far. 

"'It's pretty crazy,'" Platek quoted Kripps as saying.

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