The Soviet Olympic Committee intends trying to bar the United States-supported Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty from covering the 1980 Games in Moscow, the Soviet sports minister said yesterday.
"In the National Olympic Committee of the U.S.S.R., we are categorically against the presence of even one of these stations," Sports Minister Sergei Pavlov told the West German news agency sports information director. "Everything will be done to prevent their presence. We make no secret of that."
The executive director of the U.S. Olumpic Committee, F. Don Miller, said the USOC will support credential requests from RFE and RL.
Miller also said that Pavlov and the Soviet committee laced authority to grant or refuse credentials. Only the Internationa Olympic Committee and the local Olympic organizing committee -- in this case, the Moscow Olympic Organizing Committee -- can do so, Miller pointed out.
"This is not a final challenge," Miller said. "If RFE/RL requests accreditaition, the USOC will recommend them to the IOC and the local organizing committee... We are prepared to see that the IOC enforces its rules.We respect and follow the IOC rules and will insist that everyone else follow those rules."
The IOC banned Radio Free Europe from the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, but issued credentials for both it and Radio Liberty for the Games that summer in Munich.
Asked if it wasn't likely that the Soviet national committee would bring pressure on the local organizing committee, Miller responded, "They can say their piece and bring pressure to bear just as we can at Lake Placid. In the end, (the issue) is up to the executive board of the IOC if the local organizing committee refuses accreditation."
Pavlov was quoted as saying that reporters for Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty "are paractically all CIA agents... (who) come here with quite different duties. They broadcast only false information which just spreads hatred against the Soviet Union and other socialist contries."
A spokesman in Munich, where the stations are based, called Pavlov's charges nonsense, noting that the law establising the board specifically prohibits any connection with the CIA.