A decision by the Canadian Olympic Association to accept an invitation to the Moscow Summer Games has made Canadian support of President Carter's boycott of the Moscow Olympics increasingly unlikely.
Unlike the previous Progressive Conservative government, which wholeheartedly supported President Carter's action, the current Liberal administration of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau has been reluctant to commit itself to the boycott.
The recently elected Liberal government has put off a decision on the boycott until mid-April, but is not expected to try to stop Canadian athletes going to Moscow even if they do so in defiance of government policy.
The borad of directors of the Olympic Association announced over the weekend that it had voted unanimously to participate in the Olympics.
Gerald Regan, minister of sports, said today there is nothing the government can do to keep the athletes from going to Moscow "because it is a nongovernment event."
However, Regan and External Affairs Minister Mark MacGuigin are to meet with officials of the Association Wednesday to discuss the decision and Regan expressed hope today that the association might reconsider its decision, if Prime Minister Trudeau decides in favor of a boycott. The issue came up in the campaign prior to the Feb. 18 national election. Former prime minister Joe Clark had backed the boycott proposal but left the matter to Trudeau after the Liberals won the election. During the campaign Trudeau said Canada should only back a boycott if it was supported by a large number of Western and Third World countries. Otherwise, he contended, it would be ineffective.
Olympic Association president Dick Pound released a resolution saying the association "rejects in principle the proposition that the burden of Canada's response to the present international situation be borne primarily by Canadian Olympic athletes and that, in absence of much broader government response to the international situation, the [Association] confirms its resolution to accept the invitation to participate in the 1980 Olympic Games, within the time limit provided in the Olympic charter."