A senior Soviet sports official today raised reservations about the selection of Seoul as the site for the 1988 Summer Olympics and endorsed a proposal that the Games be held in Paris or Barcelona instead of the South Korean capital.
In an article published in the daily Soviet Sport, Ivan Yarigin, coach of the Soviet national wrestling team, said the choice of Seoul "caused a lot of doubts" about the successful outcome of the 24th Summer Games.
Since that decision was taken three years ago, Yarigin wrote, events in Seoul had done nothing to dispel those doubts. He asked how Seoul could be considered as the Olympic capital following "vicious brutalities" perpetrated by police against Seoul National University students.
He endorsed a proposal advanced by Franco Carraro, chairman of the Italian National Olympic Committee, that the site of the 1988 Games be transferred to Paris or Barcelona.
It was the first time that a Soviet official had publicly criticized the selection of Seoul as site for the 1988 Olympics. The International Olympic Committee will meet in Mexico next month, when the issue of those Games is expected to be discussed.
It has been speculated that the Soviet Union, which led a boycott of the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles, may refuse to attend the Seoul Games. Moscow has no diplomatic relations with South Korea.
Marat Gramov, chairman of the Soviet Olympic Committee, said in August the Soviet Union had not decided whether to attend the Games.