143 Nations Accept Olympics Bids; Tops Record Set in L.A.

Associated Press

A total of 143 countries have notified the International Olympic Committee they will send teams to the Seoul Games, topping the record of 140 at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, the IOC said today.

That leaves 24 countries, including the Soviet Union and China, yet to formally respond to the invitations before the Jan. 17 deadline set by the IOC. In 1984, when the IOC had only 154 National Olympic Committees, 14 countries did not participate, including most Soviet Bloc nations.

The latest figure included acceptances received today from the national committees of Chile, Mali, Uganda, Angola and the Central African Republic, an IOC statement said.

Romania, the only Soviet Bloc country that did not join in the Moscow-led boycott of the Los Angeles Games, is expected to announce its participation again, following a meeting of its national committee next week.

It would be the fifth Soviet Bloc country to confirm, following East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria. The national committees of the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia are due to meet next week, but top sports officials of both countries have already said they will not boycott.

China's national committee, originally reported to have scheduled a meeting today, is now expected to make its formal decision Jan. 15.

Countries that have announced participation can withdraw without risking sanctions. The question of what measures could be taken in such case is to be discussed by the IOC during next month's Winter Olympics at Calgary.

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