Washington: US Olympic Committee and the White House on Wednesday dismissed a call by an influential American Senator asking athletes to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia if Moscow gives 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," said Patrick Sandusky, US Olympic Committee spokesman amidst reports that Senator Lindsey Graham has called for boycotting the Olympics in Russia next year if Snowden is given asylum.
    
"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," he said.
    
"It also deprived millions of Americans of the opportunity to take pride in the achievements of our athletes, and in their dedication and commitment, at a time when we needed it most," he said opposing any move to consider boycotting the Olympics.
    
The US Olympics Committee immediately found support in the White House, which said that it is a bad idea and such an option has not been on the table.
    
"We're not focused on that (boycotting the Olympics), we're focused on working with the Russians to bring about the return of Snowden to the United States," said White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney.
    
"Our view is that we're continuing to work with the Russian government and other nations on this matter and we hope to see Snowden returned to the United States," he said.

(Agencies)

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