Putin says IOC under U.S. pressure to bar Russia from Pyeongchang Games

FILE PHOTO: An ice sculpture of the Olympic rings is illuminated during the Pyeongchang Winter Festival, near the venue for the opening and closing ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was being pressured by the United States to prevent Russia from taking part in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

"We are seeing that the IOC is under strong pressure," Putin said at a forum with scholars. "It relies on advertisers, television channels, sponsors, and so on. And these sponsors are receiving unambiguous signals from certain American institutions."

(Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya; Writing by Gabrielle T├ętrault-Farber; Editing by Christian Lowe)

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