BERLIN (DPA) – German biathletes Benedict Doll and Eric Lesser have spoken outspokenly against a sports boycott of the 2022 Olympics, but criticized the Games in China.
“To be honest, I’m not at all a fan of awarding sports to a country that has such problems,” Doll told the “Sport1” portal https://www.sueddeutsche.de/sport/. “But if I invest four years of my life in it, it’s only an attraction and then from a sporting point of view I want to participate and fight for a medal.” Lesser told RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND): “I don’t think it’s okay to expect athletes to boycott the Games.”
IOC in Duty
In view of the Games in Beijing next year, both athletes see the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a duty. “The IOC has to wear a shoe – also because of the award. On the one hand, China is not a winter sports venue and on the other, because of the political situation,” the 33-year-old said. Old Laser. Doll, two years his junior, said: “I think the IOC needs to engage these kinds of issues more deeply in decisions.” In his opinion, the Olympic Games are a “highly political issue”.
Recently, the United States, Australia, Great Britain and Canada announced that they would not send politicians to the Games from February 4 to February 20. China has been criticized for human rights violations in its dealings with Uighurs and Tibetans, threats against Taiwan and its suppression of the democracy movement in Hong Kong.
Lesser demanded that the IOC pay more attention to sustainability when awarding the Games. “The Winter and Summer Games should be what they used to be, and we shouldn’t just focus on diplomacy,” the 2014 Olympic runner-up said.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211228-99-521107/3
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