IOC chief Bach receives Russian 'assurances' over gays ahead of Sochi Games

The new president of the International Olympic Committee says he has received assurances from senior Russian officials and games organizers that an ongoing controversy over the country's treatment of gays will not affect athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Russia has come under international criticism from human rights and gay groups after passing legislation outlawing the promotion of homosexuality. Advocates claim the law is aimed at protecting minors while critics say it will hurt freedom of expression.

Thomas Bach said Sunday that he again raised the issue with Sochi organizers while attending the Olympic flame lighting ceremony at Ancient Olympia in southern Greece.