IOC leader meets Putin, praises Sochi preparations

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SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has praised Russia's preparations for the Winter Games in Sochi.

Making his first trip to Sochi since being elected head of the IOC last month, Bach met Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin to inspect the host city. Bach told Putin he was deeply impressed with the amount of work Russia has done for the Feb. 7-23 games.

The two men opened a new railway station in Sochi. Russia is spending more than $50 billion on the Olympics, Putin's pet project.

Preparations for the Olympics have been overshadowed by international criticism of a recently enacted Russian law banning "gay propaganda" among minors, which many worry may apply to gay athletes and visitors to the games.