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The objects and purposes section of the Amateur Sports Act of 1978 includes the provision, also found in the 1950 Amateur Sports Act, that the United States Olympic Committee shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to the participation of the United States in the Olympic Games, including the representation of the United States in such games. 36 U.S.C.S. § 374(3).
Plaintiffs, 25 athletes and one member of the Executive Board of defendant United States Olympic Committee (USOC), have moved for an injunction barring defendant USOC from carrying out a resolution, adopted by the USOC House of Delegates on April 12, 1980, not to send an American team to participate in the Games of the XXIInd Olympiad to be held in Moscow in the summer of 1980. Plaintiffs alleged that in preventing American athletes from competing in the Summer Olympics, defendant has exceeded its statutory powers and has abridged plaintiffs' constitutional rights.
Under the circumstances, should the defendant be barred from carrying out a resolution not to send an American team to participate in the summer Olympic games in Moscow?
The court denied the athletes' action for injunctive and declaratory relief, finding that the athletes had not stated a claim upon which relief could be granted. The court found that the USOC had the authority to decide not to send an American team to the Olympics under 36 U.S.C.S. § 374(3) of the Amateur Sports Act of 1978 (Act). Further, the athletes did not have a statutory right under the Act to compete in the Olympics. Next, the court found the USOC's decision not to send an American team was not a state action, and did not give rise to an actionable claim for the infringement of the constitutional rights alleged. Finally, even if there was a state action, the right to compete in amateur athletics had been found not to be a deprivation of constitutionally protected rights.