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Defrantz v. United States Olympic Committee (USOC)

United States District Court for the District of Columbia
492 F.Supp. 1181 (1980)


Facts

Twenty-five athletes, including Defrantz, and one member of the Executive Board (plaintiffs) of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) (defendant) brought suit to prevent the USOC from carrying out a decision not to send American athletes to compete in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow. Under the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, the USOC is charged with overseeing all matters related to U.S. participation in the Olympic Games. President Carter put great pressure on the USOC not to send a team to the Games, including threatening to withhold federal funding, to revoke the USOC’s tax exemption, and to invoke federal law to prevent American athletics from competing in the Games. Plaintiffs allege that in preventing an American team from competing in the Games, the USOC has exceeded its statutory powers and infringed upon the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Pratt, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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