MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin has accused the U.S. government of pushing for Russia's exclusion from the Olympics.
A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said "certain U.S. bodies" were pressuring the International Olympic Committee through its sponsors, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Putin meant "state (structures), including through social and non-government organizations."
Putin said the effort aimed to ensure Russia was either barred from next year's Winter Olympics entirely or forced to compete under a neutral flag.
Russia is already under IOC investigation over allegations it operated a state-backed doping program including swapping out dirty samples at the drug-testing laboratory for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Neither Putin nor Peskov specified which specific U.S. government bodies might be involved in the alleged pressuring of the IOC.