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US Olympic body rejects boycott call over Snowden

Updated: 2013-07-18 15:41
( Xinhua)

WASHINGTON - The US Olympic Committee on Wednesday refused to side with a US lawmaker to boycott the Winter Olympics in Russia if the country provides shelter to whistleblower Edward Snowden.

US Olympic Committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky said in a statement that a boycott only harms the athletes.

"If there are any lessons to be learned from the American boycott of 1980, it is that Olympic boycotts do not work," said Sandusky. "Our boycott of the 1980 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."

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.

The United States led the boycott of 1980 Moscow Olympics and four years later, the Soviet Union boycotted the Los Angeles Games.