News In Brief
Moscow — Soviets, slamming Olympics door, charge US plot
The Soviet Union has slammed the door on participation in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and continues to argue that it is the injured party in the dispute, Monitor correspondent Gary Thatcher reports.
Marat Gramov, head of the Soviet Olympic Committee, called a press conference here to blame the Reagan administration and protest groups in Los Angeles for making it ''impossible'' for the Soviet Union to participate.
Mr. Gramov alleged that US government officials were working in concert with the Ban the Soviets Coalition in laying plans to ''terrorize'' and ''kidnap'' Soviet athletes. Further, he claimed there were plans to use ''psychotropic'' drugs to affect the mental balance of kidnapped Soviet athletes in an effort to secure their defections.
The decision not to participate is ''irrevocable,'' he added.
(Los Angeles Olympics chief Peter Ueberroth said Monday that the Soviets were ''serious about not participating.'' That Soviet athletes might be drugged at the games was ''an outrageous insult,'' he said.)
In a new charge, Gramov said the US had been unwilling to accommodate Soviet athletes because ''it wanted a victory (in the games) at any cost'' and wanted to cut down on the competition for Olympic medals.
Gramov stressed that ''revenge'' for the United States-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics played no part in the decision to boycott this year's Olympic Games.
Moscow would not support any alternative games staged to compete with the Olympics, he said, nor was it advocating a ''boycott'' of the Los Angeles Games. (This was disputed by Mr. Ueberroth in Los Angeles, who said the Soviets were ''very actively . . . trying to influence the better part of the world not to participate.''
(Polish officials in Warsaw said the Soviet bloc will sponsor sports events in various nations as a substitute for participation in the Los Angeles games. The games, said one official, would not be held at the same time as the Olympics , since the Olympic Charter expressly forbids ''counter-games.'' Soviet-bloc officials, in a meeting last week, vetoed a ''counter-Olympics,'' a Polish sports journalist said.)