The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has rejected a statement on boycotting the Sochi Winter Olympics released by Senator Lindsey Graham, rusnews reported on July 18.
American republican senator Graham said on July 16 that America should consider boycotting 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics if Russia grants asylum to Edward Snowden. Other lawmakers including the close ally of Graham and Senator John McCain showed skepticism about the statement.
USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said in the statement that: “If there are any lessons to be learned from the American boycott of 1980, it is that Olympic boycotts do not work. Our boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games did not contribute to a successful resolution of the underlying conflict. It did, however, deprive hundreds of American athletes, all whom had completely dedicated themselves to representing our nation at the Olympic Games, of the opportunity of a lifetime. While we acknowledge the seriousness of the issues at hand, we strongly oppose the notion that a boycott of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is in our country’s best interests.” This statement was released on the official website of USOC.
In 1980, western countries boycotted Moscow Olympic Games. The member countries of the Warsaw Treaty boycotted to participated in 1984 responded by leading a boycott of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.