The US Olympic Committee (USOC) said on Monday it had been told by the government that US President Donald Trump’s ban on visitors from some Muslim-majority nations should not affect athletes traveling to the US for international events.
USOC leaders have received a number of inquiries about the impact of Trump’s travel ban and said the government told it that it would work to ensure foreign athletes get expedited access to the US for international competitions.
“We have been specifically asked about the impact that the executive order could have on athletes and officials coming to the United States to compete,” USOC chairman Larry Probst and chief executive Scott Blackmun said. “The US government has today advised us that it will work with us to ensure that athletes and officials from all countries will have expedited access to the United States in order to participate in international athletic competitions.”
By executive order on Friday last week, Trump banned immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — and temporarily halted the entry of refugees.
Probst and Blackmun said that like the US, the Olympic Movement was founded upon the principles of diversity and inclusion, of opportunity and overcoming adversity.
“As the steward of the Olympic Movement in the United States, we embrace those values. We also acknowledge the difficult task of providing for the safety and security of a nation,” Probst and Blackmun said. “It is our sincere hope that the executive order as implemented will appropriately recognize the values on which our nation, as well as the Olympic Movement, were founded.”
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