US will not boycott Sochi Olympics
USOC spokesperson Patrick Sandusky released a statement on Thursday where he stressed that sport should not be linked to politics.
"If there are any lessons to be learned from the American boycott of 1980, it is that Olympic boycotts do not work," the statement says.
Just a reminder US Olympic team didn’t take part in the 1980 summer Games in Moscow in protest at the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. USSR responded with a boycott of the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.
Former CIA agent Edward Snowden has called the idea of US Senator Lindsey Graham to boycott the upcoming Sochi Olympics a mockery.
The ardent neo-Conservative, Senator Graham, wants the USA to boycott the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. That’s a joke. In any case, nobody expects such degenerates here”, Snowden twittered while staying in Moscow.
The day before US Senator Lindsey Graham said that US President Barack Obama should consider the possibility of boycotting the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, if Russia grants asylum to the CIA fugitive Edward Snowden.
The US Olympic Committee on Wednesday dismissed calls by a US lawmaker to boycott next year's Winter Olympics in Russia if Moscow grants asylum to whistleblower Edward Snowden.
"If there are any lessons to be learned from the American boycott of 1980, it is that Olympic boycotts do not work," spokesman Patrick Sandusky said in a statement, noting that the boycott of the Moscow Games - a Western response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan - only hurt US athletes who were denied a chance to compete.
US House Speaker John Boehner was among those who refused to back the proposed boycott of the upcoming Sochi Olympics.
“Why would we want to punish US athletes who have been training for three years to compete in the Olympics over a traitor [Edward Snowden] who can't find a place to call home?” Mr. Boehner said at a press conference.
US Senator John McCain dismissed the suggestion of the Sochi boycott over former NSA contractor Snowden.
“There's many things we can do, but I think the experience of canceling the Olympics the last time around wasn't very good,” he said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney stressed that the US was focussed on getting Snowden returned to the US to face charges and was not considering an Olympic boycott.
Senator Lindsey Graham suggested a boycott of the Winter Games in Sochi in a published interview Tuesday, to send a message to Moscow after Snowden sought temporary asylum in Russia.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is floating the idea that the U.S. boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi if Russia doesn't send Edward Snowden back to us. "I would just send the Russians the most unequivocal signal I could send them," Graham said of an Olympic boycott on Tuesday, according to The Hill. "It might help, because what they're doing is outrageous."
Russia is set to host the games in 2014, in the coastal city of Sochi.
In response to a question from the newspaper about whether he would support a boycott, senator said: "I would just send the Russians the most unequivocal signal I could send them."
"It might help, because what they're doing is outrageous," Graham added. "We certainly haven't reset our relationship with Russia in a positive way."
"At the end of the day, if they grant this guy asylum it's a breach of the rule of law as we know it and is a slap in the face to the United States," Graham told The Hill.
Lindsey Graham is the first US senator to link the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games with the Snowden case.
The idea has drawn strong criticism from his colleague, Sen. John McCain, who said the US had a number of options, although the previous experience had proven that boycotting the Games was a poor one.
Edward Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday, according to his lawyer.
The Russian Migration Service confirmed it has received whistleblower Edward Snowden’s application for temporary asylum. It could take authorities up to three months to consider his request.
In the meantime, Snowden may be transferred to a refugee center.
"We can confirm that the documents have been received,” a Federal Migration Service spokeswoman said.
The FMS promised to review his application within a three month period.
Earlier Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking about the activity of ex-CIA officer Edward Snowden and the US reaction to the situation, said that "interstate relations are more important than dirty tattle of special services".
"We have our own tasks of developing Russian-US relations. We will not act like other countries do. We are an independent country and our foreign policy is independent," Putin said.
In 1980, the US and 64 other countries boycotted the Summer Olympic Games in Moscow to protest the alleged invasion of Soviet troops in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union paid back by boycotting the Los Angeles Olympics four years later, alongside with 13 member states of the Warsaw Pact. These events took their toll on the Games and twice deprived the world of the spectacular standoff that its two long-time favourites, namely the US and the USSR, could have offered to the expecting audience.
US Senator Lindsey Graham’s call to boycott the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics if Russia gives political asylum to US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden could throw the two countries back to the Cold-War past.
This came today in a statement by a Russian lawmaker, Alexei Pushkov, who heads State Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Sen. Graham’s call proposal to boycott the Olympic Games over the Snowden case would throw us way back to the past, to the times of mutual boycotts when the two rivals were looking at one another through ‘nuclear crosshairs.’ I am sure those days are long gone,” Mr Pushkov said.
According to Congressional daily newspaper The Hill, Republican Senator Graham urged Washington on Tuesday to consider boycotting the upcoming Sochi Winter Games in 2014 over the Edward Snowden case.
However, many US lawmakers lambasted Graham’s proposal, including his usual ally, Sen. John McCain.
“There’s many things we can do, but I think the experience of cancelling the Olympics the last time around wasn’t very good," McCain was reported as saying.
Voice of Russia, Interfax, RIA, Huffington Post, NewsMax.com, The Atlantic Wire, dpa