The Kremlin accused the U.S. government on Friday of pushing for Russia's exclusion from the Olympics.

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the IOC was coming under pressure from the U.S., spokesman Dmitry Peskov said 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.

In televised comments on Thursday, Putin said the IOC depended on sponsorship income "and in turn clear signals are being given to these sponsors by certain American bodies. We aren't simply guessing about this, we know about it."

Missing the Olympics or competing as neutrals would be "degrading" for Russia, Putin said, and suggested it might be meant to interfere in the Russian presidential election in March. Putin is widely expected to run for re-election but has yet to confirm that.

"If someone thinks that in this way they can influence the election campaign in Russia in the spring of next year, then they are deeply confused," Putin said.

Russia is already under IOC investigation over allegations it operated a state-backed doping program that involved swapping out dirty samples at the drug-testing laboratory for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Neither Putin nor Peskov specified which U.S. government bodies are accused of being involved in the alleged pressuring of the IOC.


Muguruza honored by WTA

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza is the WTA Player of the Year, and U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens is the Comeback Player of the Year.

Other recipients: French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, Most Improved Player; CiCi Bellis, Newcomer of the Year; Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-Jan, Doubles Team of the Year.


American leads in South Korea

Luke List shot a 5-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the PGA Tour's CJ Cup in Jeju, South Korea.

List led Lucas Glover (67) and Scott Brown (70) by a stroke.

Langer leads after first round

• Bernhard Langer shot a 5-under 67 and took the first-round lead in the Dominion Energy Classic in Richmond, Va., the first event in the PGA Tour Champions' playoffs.

• Jenny Shin shot a 5-under-par 67 for a share of the lead with Eun-Hee Ji (71) after the second round of the LPGA's Taiwan Championship in Taipei.

Around the horn

Women's soccer: Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr was named the National Women's Soccer League's Most Valuable Player. Kerr, a standout on the Australian national team, had a league-record 17 goals. Kerr became the first NWSL player to score four goals in a game, on Aug. 19 against the Seattle Reign.

Auto racing: Martin Truex Jr., already locked into the next round of NASCAR's playoffs, won the pole for this weekend's elimination race, the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. Truex was followed by playoff contenders Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin.


Figure skating

Russian approaches record

Evgenia Medvedeva (above) of Russia continued her domination of women's figure skating, nearly breaking her own world record with a superb short program at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow.

Medvedeva's 80.75 points on Friday — just 0.1 points off her record — placed her more than six points ahead of Carolina Kostner of Italy.

Nathan Chen (left) of the United States landed two quads to take a lead after the men's short program. At 100.54 points, he was six points beyond Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan.