Harvard Athletes Not Joining Suit to Stop Olympic Boycott
No Harvard students have joined the 18 prospective Olympians who filed suit for April 23 against the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
The suit seeks to invalidate the April 12 resolution of the USOC's House of Delegates refusing to accept the International Olympic Committee's invitation to the Moscow Olympics Games, Robert B. Zagoria, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said yesterday.
Charles H. Altekruse '80, captain of the Harvard men's heavyweight crew and a candidate for the Olympic team, said yesterday he "feels a real sympathy for the cause," but added that only yesterday he had withdrawn as a plaintiff from the case.
Altekruse said he dropped out because of "the technicalities of the case" and for various personal reasons.
The court may define more clearly the USOC's responsibilities, and controls over athletes, Altekruse said, but he added he would rather see the USOC change its character.
"Very few people were informed about the suit," he said. This hurt the effort, because the more people you involve the easier it is to carry public opinion and therefore the case, he added.
Darlene Beckford '83, a varsity runner and another Olympic hopeful, said no one contacted her and that she knew little about the suit.
Because the case is a "class action" suit, only a minimal number of plaintiffs is needed, William H. Allen, another lawyer on the case, said yesterday. If the USOC rescinds its boycott resolution, then all the athletes can participate whether or not they sued, Allen added.
Lawyers filed the suit in the United States District Court in Washington, D.C. Yesterday, they asked to have a hearing for a court injunction against the USOC's boycott resolution. Allen expects the hearing to take place next week, and refused to comment on the plaintiff's chances.