February 7, 2014 10:26 pm
Updated: February 8, 2014 12:54 am

Canadian Olympic bobsledder Justin Kripps’ website blacklisted in Sochi

Canadian Justin Kripps and Bryan Barnett celebrate after the two-man Bob World Cup final competition race in Schoenau near Koenigssee, southern Germany, on January 25, 2014.

Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images
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TORONTO –  Canadian Olympic bobsledder Justin Kripps has been shut down in Sochi  – and he hasn’t even competed yet.

While the self-proclaimed “international man of mystery” and pilot for one each of Canada’s four-man and two-man bobsleigh teams has not been banned from the games, his website JustinKripps.ca has.

The medal-hopeful’s website has been censored by the Russian government for an unspecified reason.

Early Friday morning, Kripps tweeted: “Looks like my website is censored in Russia, haha classic #SochiProblems I wonder if there’s a camera in my room.” The tweet includes a screenshot of his website which now displays a notice in Russian.

Global News reporters in Sochi confirmed the website was blocked on a computer, although it was not blocked on a mobile device. This is a screenshot of what they saw when attempting to view the website on a laptop.

Bobsledder Justin Kripps’ website, as seen in Sochi.

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Here is a Google Translation of the text:

Dear users!

We apologize, but access to the requested resource is limited.

Possible reasons for limiting access:

Access is limited by court order or otherwise established by the legislation of the Russian Federation.

Network address, which identifies the site on the “Internet”, included in the Uniform Domain Name Registry, indexes pages sites network “Internet” and the network address for the identification of sites in the “Internet”, containing information dissemination in the Russian Federation is prohibited.

Check availability network address in the Unified Register in the section “Viewing the Registry” online http://www.zapret-info.gov.ru.

Network address, which identifies the site on the “Internet”, included in the registry of domain names, indexes pages of sites in the “Internet” and the network address for the identification of sites in the “Internet”, containing information disseminated in violation of the exclusive rights.

Check availability network address in the Register in the section “Viewing the Registry” online nap.rkn.gov.ru.

The censorship notice links to the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications, a government  site that helps identify network addresses or websites that contain or circulate information forbidden in Russia.

Justin Kripps’ website.

Screenshot

It’s unclear as to why Kripps’ website has been blocked in the country. It’s essentially a promotional site for his fans and the Canadian bobsled team.

Kripps was last in the international press after he tweeted a photo of himself and his teammates posing in their underwear.

This photo was subsequently posted on celebrity gossip website PerezHilton.com and Outsports.com, which promotes gay sports, as well as various news outlets.

That was one of the first potential reasons that occurred to Andrew Mellenger, the website’s Vancouver-based developer. They also thought it might have been an issue of Olympic copyright, as the site used the phrase “Sochi 2014.”

But ultimately, Mellenger told Global News, it could simply be that Kripps’ website was scooped up among several other, more objectionable sites hosted on the same server (this includes sites that appear to host sexually explicit or pornographic content).

“If you look through the websites on the server, there are five or six that you can see would be censored in Russia,” Mellenger said. “So they didn’t pick out the individual sites, they just shut down the whole server.”

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