Courtesy of The Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland
IOC Historical Archives / International Federations - Basketball - Correspondence - 1961-1975
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF THE I.O.C. (excerpt)
Lausanne, 2nd - 5th February 1973
Lord Killanin remarked that there was considerable weakness in certain International Federations.
a) U.S. Basketball
Mr. Clifford H. Buck, President of the USOC, was shown into the room to put forward their protest on the decision in the basketball final in Munich between the USSR and the United States, in which the USSR were declared the winners and awarded the gold medals.
Lord Killanin firstly expressed the IOC's displeasure at the conduct of the US team, which had refused to receive the silver medals even under technical protest and the IOC felt that this was very discourteous. He reminded Hr. Buck that the protest must be on ethical grounds and not on technical grounds, as the latter was beyond the competence of the Executive Board to decide. Mr. Buck expressed his appreciation for being allowed to make a report to the Executive Board.
He stressed that he had with him the originals of the affidavits of the table officials and referee should the Executive Board wish to see them. These documents emphasised the fact that the decision of the officials was overruled and the length of the game extended by a FIBA representative and not by an official of the game. By official rules, the FIBA representative had no authority to countermand the game officials, who were in charge. Four out of five officials had testified on oath that the extending of the length of the game was improper and illegal and the fifth, a Bulgarian, had stated on the radio, that in his opinion, USA had won the match.
.Mr. Buck then read to the meeting a letter he had written to Lord Killanin laying down all the facts in the case.
A film was shown of the last seconds of the match in question.
Lord Killanin wondered what action the US Basketball Federation had taken with regard to FIBA. Mr. Buck said that they had made all the documents available and had taken all steps available in Munich. The information submitted to the Executive Board had not been shown to the FIBA. Lord Killanin pointed out that the Executive Board could not come to a decision without consulting the Federation and he felt that all documents submitted by Mr. Buck would have to be carefully studied. As far as he was concerned, he felt that all points raised were of a technical nature.
Mr. Samaranch suggested that the Executive Board must listen to the FIBA and all information should be sent to the Federation.
Mr. Buck then referred to the supposed refusal of the US team to accept the silver medals. The manager of the US Basketball team had been present at the meeting in Munich where this question was discussed but had left before it was decided when to award the medals. He, therefore, had no information that they would be awarded that evening.
Hr. Samaranch wondered if Hr. Buck was now claiming the silver medals but Hr. Buck replied that he had no request.
Lord Killanin pointed out that it had been repeatedly said in Munich that the U.S. team would not accept the silver medals.
Mr. Buck was thanked for his report and was shown out of the meeting.
Lord Killanin re-iterated his opinion that this was a purely technical matter and the Executive Board unanimously agreed. There were, however, serious problems with the organisation of the Basketball Federation and these should be followed up later.
Lord Killanin suggested that a letter be written to Mr. Buck advising him that the Executive Board felt it was a technical question, beyond their competence and a letter should be sent to the FIBA informing them of the Executive Board's decision and its concern about certain aspects of the Federation's administration.
Decision: Letters to be sent to the USOC and tne FIBA, accordlng to Lord Killanin's suggestions.