US Olympic chiefs oppose Beijing Winter Olympics boycott’



The Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) reiterated its to a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on Wednesday, saying athletes should not be used as “political pawns.” 


In remarks to reporters ahead of a Olympic team media event, USOPC Susanne Lyons repeated the organisation’s stance that boycotts were ineffective.


“We at the USOPC oppose athlete boycotts because they’ve been shown to negatively impact athletes while not effectively addressing global issues,” Lyons said.


“For our athletes, their only dream is to represent the and what we stand for on the international field of play.
“We do not believe that Team ’s young athletes should be used as political pawns.” 
The Beijing Winter Games are scheduled to begin on 4 February next year, just six months after the summer Tokyo Olympics.
is facing global scrutiny over a range of issues, notably the mass internment of Uighur Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang, which the has said amounts to genocide. 
It is also under pressure for its rights clampdown in the former British colony of Hong Kong. 
On Tuesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price was asked if the would consider a joint boycott with allies and said it was “something that we certainly wish to discuss.” 
But he later stressed that the does not “have any announcement regarding the Beijing Olympics,” writing on Twitter that “we will continue to consult closely with allies and partners to define our common concerns and establish our shared approach.” 
, which has rejected criticism of its record, on Wednesday hit back at suggestions of a boycott, accusing the of “politicising sports”. 
USOPC chief Lyons acknowledged the issues in , but said the issue was best dealt with on a government level.
“We certainly do not want to minimise the serious issues that are happening in ,” Lyons said.
“But the has many tools to constructively respond to these concerns which we believe should be handled by government officials.”

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