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The Kremlin on Wednesday denied Moscow was interfering in the US election campaign after President Barack Obama refused to rule out that Russia could be trying to sway the vote in favour of Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton's campaign has blamed Russia for an embarrassing leak of emails from the Democratic National Committee, propelling the Kremlin to the heart of American political debate as tensions between Moscow and Washington linger months before the US presidential elections.
President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday the absence of top Russian competitors will "markedly lower" at next month's Rio Games, as he met competitors set for Brazil and those barred over state-run doping. More than 100 Russians have so far been banned from the Games, including track and field stars Yelena Isinbayeva and Sergey Shubenkov, who were among those meeting Putin at the Kremlin. "It's obvious that the absence of Russian competitors -- leaders in many disciplines -- markedly lowers, and will lower the intensity of the fight and that means the spectacle at the upcoming events," Putin said in a speech.