Coke In Trouble Over First Olympics Arrest

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Coca-Cola may be in trouble after a Russian protester was wrestled to the ground by a security guard wearing their logo.


Pavel Lebedev was detained by Olympic security officials after he waved a small rainbow pride flag as the Olympic torch passed through his hometown of Voronezh, 560 miles north of Sochi, Russia. The security guard was wearing the standard Olympic official uniform, which includes the logo of sponsor Coca-Cola on the right leg.

Lebedev was held by police for questioning following the incident. He told the Associated Press that he was protesting his country’s controversial anti-gay laws and said,  “Hosting the games here contradicts the basic principles of the Olympics, which is to cultivate tolerance.”

President Vladimir Putin initially signed a decree to ban all demonstrations in the weeks surrounding the games. However, he later lifted the ban to allow demonstrations only at venues determined by the Russian Interior Ministry.

Despite various human rights groups urging Coca-Cola to pull it’s sponsorship of the Olympics, it remains one of the leading corporate sponsors of the Sochi 2014 Olympics.

Coca-Cola is yet to make a statement regarding the incident. has started a petition to put pressure on Olympic sponsors to pull their sponsorship.

Sign it here.


Photo provided by Pavel Lebedev
Photo provided by Pavel Lebedev




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