A member of the executive board of the International Olympic committee said today that about 48 of the 86 national Olympic Committees that have accepted invitations to this summer's Olympic Games in Moscow will be receiving financial aid from their Soviet hosts, including some that will be in Moscow solely as political window dressing.
Court Jean de Beaumont of France, a former IOC vice president and chairman of its finance commission since 1972, told reporters today he does not object in principle to the host organizing committee assisting national Olympic committees that otherwise could not afford to send their athletes to the games. He said he thinks the Soviet aid is excessive and politically motivated.
The moscow Olympic Organizing Committee has encouraged Third World countries to attend the games in the wake of U.S. government calls for a boycott to protect Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.
As of the May 24 deadline for filing entries, 86 countries had accepted invitations to Moscow, 29 had declined and the remainder of the 148 national Olympic committees had not responded.
"I have nothing against helping countries come to the Games. In the times we are living now, I can fully understand that. But this time there are so many small countries having their way paid just to have their name and flag there, even if they don't have athletes . . . it upsets me quite a lot," said the 75-year-old Beaumont, long a champion of deemphasizing nationalism at the Olympics. "There are so many, it gives the feeling they are being bought to come."
Beaumont said he also urged that the critical 83rd session of the full IOC, scheduled for Moscow the five days before the July 19 opening of the games there, be moved to Lausanne "because the climate in Moscow will not be a good climate to discuss some things that are very important."
His recommendation was not favorably received, he said, but would be discussed on Tuesday. It is more likely that the IOC will decide to hold a token session in Moscow, then adjourn and defer important business -- including election of a new president to succeed the retiring Lord Killanin of Ireland -- until a special session in Lausanne in the fall.
The nine-man executive board is meeting at IOC headquarters here, its last scheduled session until the week before the troubled Moscow Games. Killanin said that no decisions were reached today, and that a press briefing would be held Tuesday afternoon, following adjournment of the meetings.
Among the matters on the agenda for Tuesday is the lingering and volatile question of whether athletes from countries whose national Olympic committes have declined invitations to Moscow will be allowed to compete as individuals. This would require waiving an IOC rule that athletes may enter the Games only through their Olympic committees.
Most national committees have strongly opposed such a rules change, which they believe would erode their authority, but the IOC has not closed the door on the possibility.
The IOC declined requests for a press briefing today, but Beaumont, who has a flair for flamboyant rhetoric and publicity, invited reporters to a private press conference in the ornate lobby of the Lausanne Palace Hotel. a
Speaking over a crystal vase of pink roses, gesticulating passionately as he sat on a Louis XIV sofa, he said he considered it a matter of conscience to persuade the IOC against holding its session in Moscow.
"I told my friends, 'it is the wrong place and the wrong mood . . . Unfortunately we are caught in a net and we cannot get out. The only way is to hold our session in Lausanne, then go to Moscow,'" he said.
Beaumont said Moscow is an inappropriate site for the session because some IOC members will be precluded by their governments from attending, because members from countries that are boycotting the Games will be subject to criticism and unpleasantness, and because the world would look askance at IOC members being wined and dined in Moscow while Soviet troops occupy Afghanistan.
Killanin dismissed his objections as an absurdity, Beaumont said, and it appears the session will take place in Moscow as scheduled. "But I had the feeling nevertheless that what I said started to make an impression on my colleagues. We will discuss it tomorrow," he added.
Beaumont and other sports officials fear that the Moscow boycott and its repercussions will further polarize world sport into Eastern and Western blocs, and that under the circumstances, holding important meetings of the IOC and international sports federations in Moscow would be a mistake.
He said that Vitaly Smirnov of the Soviet Union, an IOC vice president, already has suggested that the Olympic Congress scheduled for Baden-Baden, West Germany, next year be moved because Germany is boycotting the Moscow Games.
Retaliation by eastern bloc nations against the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles is widely feared, but Beaumont said that the possible problems of Los Angeles were not discussed at today's meeting.