Olympic committees oppose boycott over Tibet

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

BRDO PRI KRANJU, Slovenia -- Amid escalating violence in and around Tibet, the message from across Europe was clear: "Let the games begin."

European nations and Olympic committees said Monday they opposed a boycott of the Beijing Games over China's handling of the unrest in Tibet. And most everyone else who spoke out, from Russia to Australia, echoed that approach.

"Under no circumstance will we support the boycott. We are 100 percent unanimous," said Patrick Hickey, the head of the European Olympic Committees.

The EU sports ministers and Olympic committees said sports should not be linked to such a political issue.

"Not one world leader has come out with the suggestion of a boycott and no less a person than the Dalai Lama" is against it, Hickey said. "A boycott is only a punishment of the athletes."

-- The Associated Press

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