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11 Tex. Rev. Ent. & Sports L. 27 (2009-2010)
The Efficacy of Olympic Bans and Boycotts on Effectuating International Political and Economic Change

handle is hein.journals/tresl11 and id is 29 raw text is: The Efficacy of Olympic Bans and Boycotts on
Effectuating International Political and
Economic Change
SCOTT ROSNER* & DEBORAH Low**
ABSTRACT
The Olympics have been linked to politics since their revival in 1896. There are many ways
that the Olympic Games can and have been used as a venue for political action. Two
primary ways are through boycotts and bans. This article provides detailed analyses of the
boycotts that occurred in 1976, 1980 and 1984, and the International Olympic Committee's
(IOC) bans of South Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan. This analysis shows that, unless a nation
has violated the Olympic Charter, pressuring the IOC to ban it is futile. Thus, international
disputes that do not involve sports are rarely injected with success into the politics of the
Olympic Games. In addition, while a nation can successfully carry out an ideological
protest by boycotting the Games, the accomplishment of any more substantive goal is far
more difficult to achieve. Thus, the act of boycotting the Olympics or pressuring the IOC to
ban another nation has limited benefits compared to the costs associated with doing so.
SUMMARY
I.  INTRO DUCTION  ............................................................................................................ 28
II. BRIEF HISTORY  OF THE  OLYMPIC  GAMES  ....................................................................... 30
A . The  Ancient G am es ......................................................................................... 30
B. The Revival of  the  Olympic  Games ................................................................ 31
C. The International Olympic Committee   ........................................................... 34
1II .  B O Y C O TT S  ..................................................................................................................... 3 7
A. The  1976 African  Nations Boycott ................................................................  39
B. The  Olympics and  the  Cold  War ..................................................................... 45
C. The 1980 Boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games ....................................... 46
D. The 1984 Boycott of the Los Angeles Games ................................................. 53
E.  Conclusions  on  Boycotts ................................................................................  58
Lecturer, Legal Studies and Business Ethics Department, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Professor Rosner is also the Associate Director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative. The author thanks
Jeremy Fink, Matt Obemauer and Johnathan Peterson for their invaluable research assistance and editorial support.
.. Associate, KL Gates, New York, New York. J.D. 2009 Georgetown Law School; B.A. in Political Science,
University of Pennsylvania. A substantial portion of Ms. Low's thesis at the University of Pennsylvania was used
to produce this article. Ms. Low would like to thank Dr. Rogers Smith for his assistance in preparing the article.

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