Olympics boycott proposal rejected by U.S. Olympic committee, White House

Posted By VERONICA LINARES, UPI.com   |   July 17, 2013 at 5:01 PM  |  Updated July 18, 2013 at 11:48 AM   |   Comments

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July 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Olympic Committee slammed Sen. Lindsey Graham's suggestion to boycott the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia given the country's alliance with Edward Snowden.

"Olympic boycotts do not work," the group said in a statement, adding that depriving athletes from their right to compete would not be in the country's "best interest."

Following Snowden's second application for asylum in Russia, Graham hinted Tuesday that the U.S. should consider boycotting the upcoming Olympic Games should the country comply with the NSA leaker's request.

“I would just send the Russians the most unequivocal signal I could send them,” Graham said, adding that, "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.”

While speaking to reporters Wednesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said he wouldn't engage in speculation regarding a boycott and added the Olympics are "a long way off."

“We believe that we have a strong case and we have made that case to Russia,” he said. "We don’t want this matter to do harm to our bilateral relations. We have a very important and broad relationship with Russia that encompasses a great many areas of cooperation, as well as some areas of disagreement. ... This does not need to—and should not—do any harm to those relations.”

According to the NY Daily News, Graham has yet to speak with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about his suggestion.

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