MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin hit out at “discrimination” against the country’s banned track and field athletes at a Kremlin send-off ceremony Wednesday for its depleted Olympic team.

Fencers, triathletes and table tennis players became the latest team of Russians to be cleared to compete in the Olympics by the governing bodies of their sports ahead of the Moscow ceremony, but the IAAF rejected a bid by the bulk of the track and field team to be reinstated.

More than 100 Russians from the 387-strong Olympic team have been banned from going to Rio de Janeiro.

“We can’t accept indiscriminate disqualification of our athletes with an absolutely clean doping history,” Putin said. “We cannot and will not accept what in fact is pure discrimination.”

Putin said the athletes banned from the Olympics were victims of a campaign to present Russian sports in a bad light. He spoke with a two-time Olympic pole vaulting champion, Yelena Isinbayeva, the most high-profile of the 67 track and field athletes banned from the games, standing beside him.

BELINDA BENCIC said on Twitter that she is pulling out of the Olympics, another blow to a Swiss tennis team that also lost Roger Federer this week.

Bencic, who is No. 16 in the WTA rankings, said she’s “not completely ready” to compete although her injured left wrist has healed.

The wrist problem forced the 19-year-old Bencic to quit during her second-round match at Wimbledon on June 30.

ANDERSON VAREJAO, a center for the Golden State Warriors, will miss the Olympics for Brazil because of a herniated disc in his lower back.

Varejao should be ready for training camp but won’t be healthy enough to play in the Olympics. Varejao recently experienced back pain while training with the Brazilian national team and returned to California to be examined.

Varejao averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 22 games after signing with the Warriors on Feb. 22. He re-signed with the team earlier this month.

A NEAR-DIPLOMATIC incident, as Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes termed it, came to an end when the Australian delegation said it’s now happy with its rooms at Rio’s Olympic Athletes Village.

The Australian delegation gave the mayor a tiny “boxing kangaroo” doll as the sign of a truce. The 700-member delegation refused to check in three days earlier because of water and gas leaks, electrical shorts, malfunctioning toilets and general filth.

The unfinished village, built at a cost of about $1.5 billion, marks the first organizational crisis of South America’s first Olympics. Attention now shifts to dozens of venues, which will be filling up in the next few days with thousands of athletes hoping to practice. Problems here could make village problems seem small.

THE IOC’S new Olympic Channel will be launched next month following the closing ceremony, going live Aug. 21.

The channel is designed to promote Olympics sports between each games and engage with young audiences. It will provide a mix of live sports coverage, historic Olympic footage from the IOC’s archives, news programming and a platform for Olympic bid cities.

The project, the brainchild of the IOC president, Thomas Bach, was approved by the full IOC in December 2014.

NBC, THE NETWORK that paid about $1.2 billion to broadcast the Olympics, is so keen to maximize the audience for Rio’s opening ceremony that it lobbied – unsuccessfully – to change the spectacle’s official language from Brazil’s native Portuguese to English.

In the traditional Parade of Nations, teams enter the arena in alphabetical order. Switching the languages would have put the United States’s 555 athletes near the back, giving American audiences a reason to watch the full broadcast. As it is, the team will enter somewhere in the middle because in Portuguese, the delegation is known as Estados Unidos.

IOC rules require that the official language of the opening ceremony has to be that of the host country.

THE TOKYO 2020 organizing committee president, Yoshiro Mori, acknowledged at an executive board meeting this week that the cost of building seven temporary venues for the Olympics surged to an estimated $2.6 billion, up from an initial estimate of $690 million.

Mori said the original figures were the result of sloppy calculations that he blamed on the Tokyo metropolitan government and Japanese Olympic Committee.

THE INTERNATIONAL Weightlifting Federation said 11 more weightlifters, including six silver and bronze medalists, tested positive in retests of samples from the 2012 London Olympics.

The IWF said in a statement that all 11 athletes, including four Russians, were provisionally suspended until their cases are closed.

BRAZIL’S SUSPENDED president, Dilma Rousseff, said she’ll skip the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

In a series of messages on Twitter, Rousseff said she’ll miss the event at which she was once expected to have a leading role.

IN AN INNOVATIVE move that may not please purists of taekwondo, the sport’s governing body will allow competitors to wear color on their uniforms at the Olympics.

Aside from their protective gear, fighters typically wear an all-white uniform. But the governing body unveiled designs of 20 national Olympic committee’s trousers, featuring national flags and colors.

Tina Charles scored 17 points and Maya Moore added 13 to help the U.S. women’s basketball team beat France 84-62 in an exhibition game at Newark, Delaware.

The game was a rematch of the 2012 London Olympics gold medal game that the Americans won, 86-50. This time the U.S. took a half to get going, which wasn’t a total surprise as the Americans have had little training since getting together for the first time as a full team Saturday in Los Angeles.

The U.S. only led by one at the half, but used a 9-2 spurt to start the third quarter spearheaded by Charles and Moore to create some space. The Americans extended the lead to 63-46 after three quarters. France couldn’t get within 15 the rest of the way.