BEVERLY HILLS

NBC Sports chief Mark Lazarus acknowledged on Saturday that the network will need to confront the controversy created by Russia's new anti-gay laws during the network's coverage of February's Winter Olympics in Sochi.

"If it is still their law and impacting any part of the Olympic games we will acknowledge it," he told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

Lazarus fielded a number of questions about how NBC will deal with the recent anti-gay legislation, and while he issued no specifics, he said that the International Olympic Committee has been assured it will not affect the athletes or NBC or the Games themselves.

Chairman of NBC Sports Group Mark Lazarus, Executive Producer Jim Bell, and NBC Olympics reporters Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, and Apolo Ohno speak
Chairman of NBC Sports Group Mark Lazarus, Executive Producer Jim Bell, and NBC Olympics reporters Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, and Apolo Ohno speak onstage during the "NBC Olympics" panel discussion at the NBC portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour - Day 4 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 27, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) (Frederick M. Brown)

Earlier this week, the Human Rights Campaign sent a letter to NBC urging the network to bring the issue to light during the Olympics, which attract massive television audiences. Meanwhile, some activist organizations have called for a boycott of the Games, which would be a financial disaster for NBC and Comcast.

"We as a company obviously believe in equality and opportunity for all," Lazarus said. "We don't believe the Games are in the spirit of the law that they have passed and we're hopeful the Olympic spirit will win out."