Title Government's wish to boycott Olympics as to put pressure on the U.S.S.R. to cease its military action in Afghanistan
Database Press Releases
Date 07-04-1980
Source Minister for Administrative Services
Author MCLEAY, John Elden
Citation Id HPR08005421
Cover date 7 April, 1980
In Government no
MP yes
Speech No
System Id media/pressrel/HPR08005421

Government's wish to boycott Olympics as to put pressure on the U.S.S.R. to cease its military action in Afghanistan




The basic reason for the Australian Government's wish to boycott

the Mosccw Olympic Gaines is to put pressure on the Soviet Union to cease

its military action in Afghanistan.

No other protest will so visibly bring to the Soviet people the

abhorrence of the free world of the action of the Soviet Government in its

brutal invasion and occupation of this small and independent nation.

The Soviet Union is in breach of several provisions of the Olympic

. use of the Olyirpic movement entirely for propaganda purposes.

. Soviet Olympic athletes being paid.

. Soviet athletes discriminated against on the grounds of race

and political opinion.

. non-observance of Olympic rules for freedom of coirmunication.

. denial of freedom by the State to the National Olympic


. invasion and occupation of a fellow member of the Olympic

movement - Afghanistan.

The breaches by the Soviet Union of the Olympic Charter in themselves

raise doubts over whether Olympic Games should be held in Moscow at all. When

the invasion, occupation and atrocities by the Soviets in Afghanistan are also

taken into account there can be no question that the boycott must succeed.

Athletes in Australia should understand that they are not alone in

being asked to support a boycott of the Soviet Olympic Games and if an

effective boycott does eventuate - and we will not know this until next month -

they might well be one of the few groups attending from the free world.

The Federal Government is imposing sanctions against the Soviets in

numerous areas including trade and scientific and cultural activities - in sport

we are only asking the Olympic bodies to support us. If they end up going, so

be it, the Government will not stop them. ' I · - \ . . ■ "y

Games Charter, including:-

In 1936 Hitler's persecution of the Jews and other "non-Aryans"

was obvious - Soviet Russia boycotted the games.

At the London Garres in 1948, the new State of Israel was excluded in

order to forestall a threatened Arab boycott.

In 1956 the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland boycotted the Melbourne

Games as a protest against Soviet participation and the attendance of an

unrepresentative Hungarian team when fighting was continuing in Hungary.

On the same occasion, but as a protest against the Anglo-French

intervention at Suez, Egypt, Iraq and the Lebanon also withdrew from the games.

Similarly, China remained absent because of the presence of the

Republic of China (Taiwan). . ·

In 1964 Indonesia refused to attend the Tokyo Gaines.

In May 1970 South Africa was formally expelled from the Olympic movement.

In 1972, for the first time since 1896 a national committee duly

recognised by the IOC - that of Rhodesia - was formally asked to withdraw its

team from the next Games.

The Montreal Games of 1976 were boycotted by 31 countries, mostly Black

African, because of the presence of New Zealand, whose government had allowed the

country's principal rugby football team to tour South Africa that year.

Whether some western nations and the IOC are prepared to accept the

thesis that "sport and politics do not mix," there is no doubt in the minds of

the USSR officials that this is the case.