Ireland's boxers, France's yachtsmen and both the men's and women's Australian volleyball teams are among 32 European and British Commonwealth teams that have decided to defy sports officials in their countries and boycott the Moscow Olympics independently.
This group was cited by White House special court counsel Lloyd Cutler yesterday as he told reporters the administration's effort to draw athletes away from the Olympics is still going on. He said he expected other such defections by teams in Europe, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, where national Olympic Committees ignored the wishes of their governments and voted to go to Moscow.
Cutler and White House aides said plans are still being made for alternatives to the Olympics and for a special celebration here in July for members of the U.S. team.
Yachting and equestrian teams throughout Europe have decided not to go to Moscow. As a result, a Cutler aide said, previously planned competitions for those events in Western Europe probably will be upgraded and could have more significance than the Olympics.
Other teams that have decided to stay at home include the fencing and shooting teams of France, Switzerland and Britain, gymnastics teams in the Netherlands, Britain and Switzerland: the Italian and Dutch pentathlon teams, and hockey teams in Australia and the Netherlands.
Yesterday, Tracey Wickham, one of the world's top swimmers, pulled out of the Olympics, saying that mental and physical pressures had worn her down. Australia's swimming coach, Forbes Carlile, said he also would not attend.
The Australian Olympic Federation voted 6 to 5 Friday to send a team to Moscow. The decision angered the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and he has asked individual organizations to join in boycotting the Games.
Cutler also said that many European teams going to Moscow decided not to participate in the traditional pre-game parade and would not allow their national flags to be raised when medalists are honored.
"A lot of that hoopla is going to go out of the games," he told reporters.