IOC chief receives Russian 'assurances' over gays

By Derek Gatopoulos

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Sept. 29 2013 11:17 a.m. MDT

A gay rights activist chant slogans during a demonstration in front of the Russian consulate in New York, Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Russian vodka and the Winter Olympics in Sochi are the prime targets as gays in the United States and elsewhere propose boycotts and other tactics to convey their outrage over Russia's campaign against gay-rights activism.

Mary Altaffer, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece — 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 "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors."

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.

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