The West German Olympic Commitee has informed the U.S. Olympic Committee that it will support the Americans' stand for moving, postponing or canceling the Moscow Olympics, it was reported here today.
USOC executive director F. Don Miller told USOC board members meeting here that Willi Daume, a leader of the German committee, had telephoned assurances that the Germans would join the U.S. committee in seeking International Olympic Committee action when the IOC meets in Lake Placid, N.Y., Feb, 10 Daume is also an influential member of the IOC.
Daume's reported stand marks the first time any European member of the IOC has publicly indicated support for any action against the Moscow Games as a result of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Miller said that Duame also relayed word that the West German Olympic Committee had adopted a resolution over the weekend that was similar to the USOC resolution adopted Saturday, calling for moving, postponing or canceling the games in Moscow. The resolution deals solely with supporting the American position in IOC voting and not with a response if that position is rejected.
Washington Post staff writer Barry Lorge reported that the USOC resolution received little encouragement from IOC president Lord Killanin. rKillanin, who was read the one-page solution over the telephone in his Dublin home Saturday night, told the USOC president Robert J. Kane he was pleased that the USOC was submitting its request through proper IOC channels, but that he was "not it receptive" to the substance of the resolution.
Miller also initially reported that 'suyoshi Miyakawa, assistant secretary general of the Japanese Olympic Committee, had telephoned the USOC to say that the Japanese committee also was supporting the USOC position.
But several hours later, when Miller's report got back to Japan, Miyakawa called back to say that he only seen joking and that he had been embarrassed by the report, a USOC spokesman said. The spokesman added that Miyakawa, in the second call, declared that the Japanese Olypmic Committee had not yet met on the question and that no position should be ascribed to it at this time.
President Carter set a deadline of Feb. 20 for a Soviet pullout from Afghanistan as a condition for a U.S. participation in the Summer Games.
Even as the USOC executive reported West German position -- the first progress toward implementation of the American point of view in the IOC -- White House aides who remained here overnight began mapping out a plan for influencing members of the IOC.
Deputy White House counsel Joseph Onek circulated this morning at the USOC board meeting, asking members knowledgeable about the IOC membership for "suggestions on which of the 85 members might be susceptible to argument from U.S. government representatives.
The common view up to now has been that the IOC will not prove amenable to taking any action against the Moscow Games at next month's Lake Placid meeting, and that its failure to act will force USOC to decide any way or another on an American boycott of the Games next summer.
But Onek expressed optimism that the chances for IOC action are growing.
"While I don't believe the odds are as good as 50-50," he declared, "neither do I believe they're 99-1 against us. And they may shift in the next three weeks.
Kane expressed renewed hope, meanwhile, that somehow the crisis over the Moscow Games, will work itself out and no American boycott will be necessary.
But just in case of boycott does take place, the USOC instituted the precautionary measure today of beginning to plan for, a possible national sports festival this summer, probably July 23-29, for U.S. athletes who otherwise should go to the Olympics.
The USOC has successfully held two such sports festivals in Colorado Springs in the last two years, but it has never envisioned holding one in an Olympic year.
USOC leaders plan a mailing to all prospective American Olympians within the next week or so updating them of developments.
Looking back on Saturday's tumultuous board meeting, some USOC members complained about some of the pressure put on them by White House counsel Lloyd N. Cutler in the closed session that opened the proceedings.
They said that Cutler warned them bluntly that unless the USOC went along with the president's recommendations, the USOC would lose $16 million in federal aid it had been counting on to develop the lesser-known Olympic sports, and that Los Angeles might well lose federal assistance for the 1984 Games.
Cutler's opening statement also came in for considerable fire. "Most of you," the White House counsel was quoted as having told the USOC board members, "probably had to go to a map to see where Afghanistan is."
Barry Lorge reported from Colorado Springs :
USOC officials have agreed that no alternative site could be readied for the Games this summer, and they have decided to concentrate their case to the IOC on pressing for a postponement.
"I think that has the only chance, really," Kane said today. "It all depends what the other nations do. If a lot of other nations join us, a request for postponement could go. If they don't, the Games will go on without us. So we'll have to wait and see what happens in the next two weeks."
Killanin has said repeatedly that the Games will go on in Moscow as scheduled, July 19 through Aug. 3, because the Soviet organizers have broken no IOC rules. But the USOC will argue Soviet aggression violates the spirit of the Olympic Charter and the Soviet repression of dissidents and Jews runs contrary to the human rights provision of the charter.
Noting that Kane has pledged to present the USOC proposal "vigorously and faithfully," Onek predicted that the USOC "will press the case hard. . . and will find that, through the efforts of the United States government and governments around the world, they have a lot of support at the IOC meeting."
"If, two months ago, someone had asked me if I could imagine the United Nations ever condemning any Soviet action by a vote of 104-18, I would have said that I couldn't conceive of such circumstances," Onek said. "But That happened. Times have changed, so I certainly don't think it is out of the realm of possibility that the IOC could act favorably on the USOC proposal.
"I think the IOC members are going to keep hearing messages from politicians, from newspapers, and citizens in their countries, and whatever isolation they enjoyed in the past they are not going to enjoy in the next few weeks," Onek said.
If the IOC rejects the USOC proposal and Soviet troops remain in Afghanistan beyond Feb. 20, however, the USOC executive board will have to reconvene to consider President Carter's request that the U.S. not send a team to Moscow.
All indications are that the USOC would abide by the presidential request, but Kane is trying to put off an irrevocable decision as long as possible. May 24 is the deadline for accepting or declining IOC invitations to the Moscow Games.
If President Carter requests a decision promptly after the Winter Olympics end Feb. 24, the USOC board would meet in special session since its next regularly scheduled meeting is not until April 13. As a practical matter, some USOC officials predicted today, the organization probably would adopt a preliminary position but would neither accept nor decline the IOC invitation until May 24.
If the USOC declined the invitation before that date, it might not be able to get back into the Games if there were a subsequent relaxation of world tensions.
If the USOC entered a team and then withdrew before the start of the Games. It would be liable to IOC sanctions of undetermined nature. Theoretically they could be as severe as exclusion from the 1984 Summer Games at Los Angeles.
The power to invoke such sanctions was enacted by the IOC after the 1976 Montreal Games, from which 26 African nations pulled out at the 11th hour because the IOC refused to expel New Zealand for having rugby ties with South Africa.
Meanwhile, the debate over the Olympics will return to Congress this week as the Senate is expected, following hearings before the Foreign Relations Committee Monday, to vote on the resolution supporting President Carter's decision. The House of Representatives approved it last week by a 386-12 vote.