Turnen, 6/84

On May 10, 1984, a meeting of the National Olympic Committee of the GDR was held in Berlin and, on the basis of a report by the President of the NOC of the GDR, Manfred Ewald, unanimously approved the following statement:

"The National Olympic Committee of the German Democratic Republic value the Olympic Games which have always been considered a worldwide symbol of international understanding, and the preservation of peace and friendship between athletes from all continents. In this sense, since 1956 the athletes of the GDR have participated in every Olympic Games and, with their appearance and high sports results, have made a valuable contribution to the Olympic ideals."

Referring to the single-minded and diligent preparation of the athletes of the GDR for the Games of the XXIII Olympiad in Los Angeles, the statement says further: "However, the standardized political interference by the U.S. administration in the preparation of the Olympic Games and the repeated violations of the Olympic Charter by the Olympic organizers have serious dangers for the participation of our athletes at the competitions for equal, honest and fair sporting conditions."

Many times - and this must be emphasized - the NOC of the GDR had turned to the IOC and the organizers of the Games to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations of the Olympic Charter, most recently in an open letter dated April 11 sent to the President of the Organizing Committee. This letter was not answered. "As before, the provisions of the Olympic Charter and the rules of the IOC and the practices of international sport are greatly violated."

1. The incitement and slander against the athletes of the socialist countries occur constantly. Many organized groups have joined forces, and have made knowledgeable threats and political demonstrations against the athletes of the USSR and other socialist countries.

2. There is no guarantee for the safety of the participants from the GDR and other socialist countries during the Olympics.

3. The Organizing Committee declared that it was unable to guarantee protection from political and criminal attacks by extremist groups in the Olympic Village. This means that the health and lives of GDR athletes could be seriously threatened, especially since the U.S. government and the Organizing Committee may refuse to stop such actions which go against Olympic ideals.

In the statement, it was further pointed out that there is no firm commitment for the accommodation of the GDR Olympic team and the proper supervision by its coaches, doctors, etc., that the training opportunities are not ensured, and the organizers have stated that unjustified deposit payments will be charged for the GDR delegation's entry into the USA.

"The U.S. government and the organizing committee are responsible for the fulfillment and realization of the Olympic spirit of friendship, understanding and peace. Under the circumstances, this is not happening. The U.S. government and the organizers of the Los Angeles Olympics have destroyed the foundations for the participation of the athletes from the GDR."

The National Olympic Committee of the German Democratic Republic has a major responsibility to protect the honor, dignity and lives of its athletes.Therefore, considering the fact that there will be no normal conditions in Los Angeles for the participation of the GDR athletes, it has been decided that the GDR will not participate in the 1984 XXIII Olympiad in Los Angeles. This decision is not directed againt the citizens or athletes of the U.S.A. which whom we have a variety of current and future relationships.

The National Olympic Committee of the GDR will also seek further support from the IOC in upholding the Olympic ideals, the development of sport, and the strengthening of the international Olympic movement.

Maxi Gnauck: "I stand behind the decision of the National Olympic Committee"

The dual meet of the GDR against Hungary has shown me that my new routines are good and meet the highest expectations. In preparing for the Olympic Games, it is clear that my participation would have been possible only if all participants were guaranteed equal opportunities. I utterly condemn the activities that are being prepared against the athletes of the socialist countries, as well as the policies of the Reagan administration, which has exploited the Olympic ideal into the opposite. Therefore, I stand behind the logical decision of the National Olympic Committee of the GDR to not attend the Summer Games, and starting now I will dedicate my performances in international competitions in honor of our Republic.