30 Slovenians quit Yugoslavian team

July 01, 1991

About 30 athletes from Slovenia who were to represent Yugoslavia pulled out of the Mediterranean Games in Athens yesterday under orders from officials of the breakaway republic.

Radovan Tomic, an official of the Yugoslav delegation, said some athletes from Slovenia want to return home, but "out of anxiety, not anger. We understand them, and will help them return in every way possible." Yugoslav federal forces have attacked and killed Slovenians defending their decision to form an independent state.

Concern for their relatives back home was also expressed by the Algerians. Algeria is undergoing civil strife as government forces clash with Muslim fundamentalists.

* The leading anti-apartheid sports organization said it was willing to lift selectively the decades-old sports boycott against South Africa. Despite opposition from hard-line members, the Interim National Olympic Committee of South Africa said it would approve international competition for sports that have fully integrated and met other conditions.

The decision is one of the strongest signals yet that South Africa is about to be reaccepted into international sports after decades of isolation due to apartheid. The International Olympic Committee is to meet with South African sports officials in Switzerland on July 9, and is likely to invite the country to the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona. It would mark the first Olympic appearance by South African athletes in 32 years.

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