New Delhi, Apr.7 : The head of the organization representing the 205 national and regional Olympic committees has dismissed calls for a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games, saying politicians who are pushing for it are making an error.
"We definitely say 'no' to any boycott and 'yes' to the Olympic Games," said Mario Vazquez Rana, the president of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), said.
Rana was speaking ahead of the opening of the 16th general assembly of the ANOC in Beijing today.
According to Xinhua, it is a tradition for the ANOC to hold its biennial assembly in the Olympic host city months before the Games.
The three-day assembly in Beijing "has attracted more than 700 officials from all the National Olympic Committees.
Rana set up ANOC in 1979 and has since been the head of the organization. "The representatives will show their support to the Beijing Games through every effort in every aspect during the meeting," he said. Responding to some organizations raising the issue of a boycott of the Beijing Games or the opening ceremony due to the riots in Tibet, Rana said: "I hope very much that political associations or governments do not use the Olympic Games as a pretext to launch a boycott or try to obtain any benefit out of it."
He also stated that athletes have the greatest freedom of expression but should be guided by the Olympic Charter.
"An athlete who steps outside the rules of the Olympic Charter is committing a mistake, which she or he knows not to do," he said.
"Until now, we have not received any information on any athlete who intends to do something improper or wrong during the Games. In fact, all of them are desire to see a great Games," he said.
The Olympic Charter, which is drawn up by the International Olympic Committee, outlaws political acts, saying: "No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted at any Olympic site, venue or other area."