The U.S. Olympic Committee executive board voted in Philadelphia to work with organizers of the Ted Turner-inspired Goodwill Games, a move opposed by some who said the USOC was being bypassed in its role as coordinator of amateur sports in the United States.
The games, July 5-20 next year in Moscow, were conceived by Turner, to be shown on his Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting System, and are being organized with the help of The Athletics Congress, one of the governing bodies of U.S. amateur sports under the USOC umbrella.
The board opted by voice vote to appoint a committee to help national governing bodies of the various sports planning to go to Moscow in "implementing their involvement in the Goodwill Games."
"The USOC has now abdicated to another entity and lost its birthright," complained former USOC president Robert J. Kane, referring to the 1978 Amateur Sports Act he said gave the USOC the sole right to represent this country in international multisports competition.
"The USOC's birthright is to help coordinate and solve controversies and I think this was a positive step . . . ," said USOC President Robert H. Helmick.
TBS Inc. is paying $8.9 million to the Soviets for television rights and says it will split TV revenue with them.
In other business, the USOC executive board endorsed the International Olympic Committee's concept of allowing athletes to use trust funds to receive money that would otherwise disqualify them.