The US Olympic Committee on Wednesday dismissed
calls by a US lawmaker to boycott next year's Winter Olympics in
Russia if Moscow grants asylum to whistleblower Edward Snowden.
"If there are any lessons to be learned from the American boycott of 1980, it is that Olympic boycotts do not work," spokesman Patrick Sandusky said in a statement, noting that the boycott of the Moscow Games - a Western response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan - only hurt US athletes who were denied a chance to compete.
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.
White House spokesman Jay Carney stressed that the US was focussed on getting Snowden returned to the US to face charges and was not considering an Olympic boycott.
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