The International Olympic Committee published a list yesterday showing that 85 countries have accepted invitations to the Summer Games in Moscow, 29 have declined and 27 have failed to reply.
A member of the Moscow Olympic Organizing Committee, Ignaty Novilcov, said the list demonstrates the failure of U.S. calls for a boycott. President Carter called the boycott following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the U.S. Olympic Committee accepted that decision.
President Carter's press secretary Jody Powell said Soviet claims that the boycott failed only confirm U.S. charges that the Games are being portrayed by the Soviets as something other than just a sporting event.
U.S. and Soviet spokesman took differing views of a statement Monday by International Olympic Committee chairman Lord Killanin that responses to the invitations will still be accepted despite passing of the May 24 deadline.
Viadimir Popov, of the Moscow organizing committee, said this meant more countries would join in the Games. "With small exceptions, all leading sports countries will participate," he said. Unofficially, the Soviets had indicated earlier that more than 100 would attend.
State Department spokesman Thomas Reston, reacting to Killanin's statement, said, "If the deadline is going to be extended for one type of decision, it can be extended for both types." He said the United States would keep pressing for the boycott.
The 85 acceptances were three less than the number of countries competing 10 years ago in Montreal. That year, 29 African countries boycotted the events in protest against New Zealand having maintained sports competitions with South Africa. That country is now excluded because of its policies of racial discrimination.
Major sports nations joining with the U.S. refusal to attend include Canada, West Germany, Japan, China and Kenya.
The French Olympic Committee announced yesterday that although its teams will attend, they will not take part in the July 19 opening ceremonies. While the committees of such countries as Britain, Italy and Switzerland voted to accept their invitations, they will have incomplete teams since several of their sports federations for individual sports do not plan to make the trip.