In the Soviet Union's first response to calls for a boycott of this summer's Olympics because of the invasion of Afghanistan, a top official of the Moscow organization committee scoffed at the idea, claiming all previous such efforts had failed, and a Soviet newspaper accused President Jimmy Carter of "political blackmail."
The strong Soviet counterback also labeled as "cold war troubadours" those who have called for the Games to be conceled or moved.
In Dublin, Ireland, Lord Killanin, president of the International Olympic Committee said there was no possibility of moving the Games. In an interview in The Sunday Press, Killanin called a move, to Montreal or Munich as proposed recently, "physically impossible."
"When the IOC gave the Games to Moscow, the American Olympic Committee were strongly in support," Killanin said, had used sports for political purposes.
Meanwhile, in Bonn, a spokesman for the West German government said his nation would follow other NATO countries if they boycott.
Government spokesman Armin Gruenewald told the Welt Am Sonntag newspaper that West Germany "will not lack in solidarity" if Carter and other heads of NATO states decided on a boycott.
He said a boycott could serve "a useful political means."
NATO ministers reportedly will discuss the situation at a meeting in Brussels over the weekend.
Only one country, Saudi Arabia, publicly has announced plans to boycott the Games because of the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan. The Saudis have called for other Moslem nations to boycott.
There was talk of a Western boycott of the 1980 Games following a series of dissident trials in Moscow in 1978, though it pales in comparison to the current clamor. Until this weekend, Soviet officials carefully had avoided commenting on a possible boycott.
Vladimir Popov, first deputy chairman of his country's Olympic organizing committee, said opponents to holding this summer's Games in Moscow "do not make honest, businesslike critical remarks but are attempting to use the present situation in the world for imposing the idea of boycotting the Moscow Games.
"This is not the first such attempt," he said in an article in the newspaper Izvestia. "All the previous attempts have flopped."
Writing in the newspaper Sovietsky Sport, commentator Semyon Bliznyuk said Carter signaled the start of the boycott campaign in his Jan. 4 speech on Afghanistan.
In that speech, Carter said the United States would prefer to stay in the Games, but said that Soviet action in Afghanistan "will endanger both the participation of athletes and the travel to Moscow by spectators who would normally wish to attend the Olympic Games."
Bliznyuk accused Carter of trying to use pressure tactics.
"Intending to use sports as a means for political blackmail, the president -- without any real consideration of the political situation -- has decided to question participation of American sportsmen in the Olympic games in Moscow," Bliznyuk said.
Another threat to the Games may come from a wrangle involving black African countries protesting sports links between some Western countries and South Africa.
In December, the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa passed a resolution calling for Britain and the Republic of Ireland to be banned from the Moscow Olympics for that reason.
The controversy could come to a head over a British rugby team's scheduled tour of South Africa, which is banned from the Olympics because of its apartheid policies.
In 1979, 29 countries walked out of the Montreal Games because the International Olympic Committee refused to ban New Zealand for having played rugby with South Africa.