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Soviets to Take Part in Olympics, Official Says

January 05, 1988

The Soviet Union's top sports official said Monday that his country intends to participate in the Summer Olympics at Seoul, South Korea.

Marat Gramov, chairman of the Soviet Sports Committee and chief of the National Olympic Committee, said in Frankfurt, West Germany, that the decision on Soviet participation would be made at an NOC meeting next week.

But he emphasized at a news conference: "We do not intend to boycott the 1988 Seoul Olympics."

The official deadline for accepting invitations to the Summer Olympics is Jan. 17. The Games will be held Sept. 17-Oct. 2.

Gramov said that the Soviet NOC earnestly had discussed the question of participating in the Seoul Games.

"We find the Olympic movement positive, as it unites the youth of the world," Gramov said.

He said that Soviet athletes were "seriously preparing" for both the Winter and Summer games. The Winter Games will be held at Calgary next month.

Gramov's statement appeared to clear the way for all Soviet Bloc countries to participate in the Seoul Games.

Last month, Hungary and East Germany became the first Soviet Bloc countries to officially announce they would send teams to South Korea.

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