Olympics

Boehner rejects Olympic boycott

Share This Story

   
 

WASHINGTON (AP)

House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday soundly rejected suggestions that the United States boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi if Russia grants asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

US ATHLETES TO WATCH

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are just weeks away. See which American athletes to watch as we count down to the Games.

"Why would we want to punish U.S. athletes who've been training for three years to compete in the Olympics over a traitor who can't find a place to call home?" Boehner told reporters at a news conference.

The Ohio Republican was asked about Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham's idea that if Russia provides a safe haven for Snowden, the United States should consider keeping its athletes home during the 2014 Winter Olympics next February.

Boehner said Graham was "dead wrong."

Snowden, who disclosed details about U.S. intelligence surveillance of Internet activity, has applied for temporary asylum in Russia three weeks after arriving at a Moscow airport from Hong Kong. The United States wants Snowden sent home to face prosecution for espionage.

In the 1980s, the United States boycotted the Olympics over Russia's invasion of Afghanistan. The U.S. Olympic Committee said in a statement Wednesday that it strongly opposes the idea that a boycott is in the country's best interest.

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

Snowden's fate has roiled already tense U.S.-Russian relations.

At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney said he wouldn't speculate on any boycott of the Olympics, but added that the U.S. agrees with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Snowden's case needn't and shouldn't harm U.S.-Russian relations.

"It's a broad and important relationship," Carney said. "We want to continue to see that relationship strengthened."

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


OLYMPIC VIDEOS

Olympian Van Dyken injured in ATV accident

Posted: Jun 09, 2014
America's Pregame provides an update on the condition of former Olympic swimmer ...

Phelps clocks fastest qualifying time in return

Posted: Apr 24, 2014
Michael Phelps clocks the fastest qualifying time in 100-meter butterfly at the ...

Clark claims 7th US Open halfpipe crown

Posted: Mar 09, 2014
Watch Kelly Clark land the first-ever cab 1080 en route to claiming her 7th win ...

Gold wins US Open halfpipe

Posted: Mar 09, 2014
Watch Taylor Gold's US Open-clinching run in the halfpipe, featuring an epic Fro...

Blind skier prepares for 2014 Paralympic Games

Posted: Mar 07, 2014
Blind skier Staci Mannella pushes the limits as she prepares for the 2014 Paraly...

Fox Sports Store

MORE THAN SPORTS on MSN