Oberhof (AFP) Biathlon coach Mark Kirchner doesn’t believe in a sports boycott of the Olympics in Beijing, but sees the Games in China within a month as critical.
“I stick with the fact that athletes are not there to do any boycotts and try to get politics into the sports field,” Kirchner said at a digital press conference before. “We are there to go there and experience a sports festival.” World Cup at home in Oberhof: “Athletes are the last who can do anything there.”
The 51-year-old Kirchner, who has won three gold medals at the Olympics himself, feels the IOC is obligated to do so. “The extent to which the IOC has been confused, looking for excuses and hiding from facts, has become more than evident in the past few weeks,” Kirchner said. For him personally, it’s not even a question that some of the conditions in China are “basically not true” and that these are “in no way acceptable”. Kirchner said the IOC “must set the path, whether you have to go to China, to a country like this that would allow it to award the Games.”
Recently, the USA, Australia, Great Britain and Canada announced that they will not be sending politicians to the games from February 4-20. China has been criticized for human rights abuses in its dealings with Uyghurs and Tibetans, threats against Taiwan and suppression of the democratic movement in Hong Kong.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 21005-99-597153 / 3
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