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  USOC's Statement on Tonya Harding

Associated Press
Sunday, February 13, 1994; Page A18

Here is the U.S. Olympic Committee statement announcing it has agreed not to challenge Tonya Harding's right to compete for the United States in the Olympics:

As we watched approximately 1,900 of the world's finest athletes enter the Olympic Stadium in Lillehammer today, we knew one thing for certain.

The men and women of the 1994 U.S. Olympic Team are now part of the Games and the reason why the United States delegation, the nation's first lady and countless other Americans are here in Norway tonight.

Because of the resolution of the court proceedings in Oregon today, Tonya harding will be a member of the Olympic team, and she will compete in the ladies' event in figure skating beginning on Feb. 23.

The ongoing criminal investigation in Oregon, as well as the continuing U.S. Figure Skating Association disciplinary review of Tonya Harding and the disruptions of our athletes and their preparations have helped to make our efforts for a Games Administrative Board hearing difficult, if not impossible.

We are appalled still by the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, which was not only an attack on the athlete, but an assault on the basic ideals of the Olympic movement and sportsmanship. The attack was designed to cripple her, alter the competition and could have ended her career. We remain concerned about the incident.

From the beginning, the U.S. Olympic Committee has attempted to do the right thing, and to employ our constitution and bylaws and other resources to find the truth in these matters and to be undeniably fair.

For the moment, the matter is stilled, and we turn all of our energies and resources to our Olympic team. We wish each of them the best of success as they attempt to realize their lifelong Olympic dreams. The USOC is committed to these athletes.

From this point, it will be our earnest intent that during the Games, we will have no further comment on these issues.

© Copyright 1994 The Washington Post Company

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