Menu JTA Search

Lawmakers Ask USSR for Assurances Against Politicizing 1980 Olympics

The Soviet Union was called upon last Thursday in both Houses of Congress for assurances against politicization of the Olympic Games scheduled for Moscow in 1980. Criticizing Canada’s stand against Taiwan in the current Montreal Games, Sen. James B. Pearson (R. Kansas) asked in a Senate speech whether the Canadian precedent would form a basis for the Soviets to “exclude the Israelis at the request of the Arabs” or the West Germans by the East Germans or the United States by African nations.

“I urge both the International Olympic Committee and the Soviet government to issue public pledges that no athletic team will be denied participation at the Moscow summer Olympics.” Pearson, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said. “If the Soviet Union should decide, for whatever reason, to refuse any athletic team permission to participate, then the IOC should select an alternative site for the games.”

In the House, Rep. William S. Bromfield, (R. Mich.), ranking minority member on the House International Relations Committee, spoke of the “ugliness of international terrorism injected into the Olympiad” in Munich four years ago when 11 Israeli athletes were murdered and “further debasing” of the ‘Olympic ideal by permitting political considerations to dictate standards of eligibility” in Montreal.

“One would hope,, Broomfield said, “that the Soviets will honor and abide by their commitment to the IOC and not attempt to exercise restraint or control over the participants.”

NEXT STORY