September 9, 2013

(Reuters) - Fears Russia's controversial gay law could affect next year's Sochi Winter Games has reached sponsors despite efforts by the hosts to play down the issue, the International Olympic Committee said on Sunday.

The Russian law, which forbids the dissemination of information on homosexuality to minors, has been seen by critics as discriminatory.

It has overshadowed preparations for the Sochi Olympics - a priority for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who wants it to show the country as a modern state with top-notch infrastructure.

"Lately there has been a lot of discussion and I am pushed by several sponsors about what will happen with this new law in Russia," IOC marketing chief Gerhard Heiberg told Sochi Games chief Dmitry Chernyshenko.

"Especially the American sponsors are afraid what could happen. This could ruin a lot for all of us.