Friday 19th November 2021
“Politicization of Sport”
Biden’s Olympic boycott plans outraged China
US President Biden speaks in public about a possible diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. This is intended to draw attention to human rights violations. China reacts indignantly. Meanwhile, tennis player Peng Shuai has disappeared.
The Chinese State Department has responded indignantly to the considerations of the US President Joe Biden regarding a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. “The politicization of sport is contrary to the Olympic spirit and harms the interests of athletes in all countries,” said Zhao Lijian, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry.
Biden had previously said in a meeting with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that such a boycott of the Games (February 4-20) was “something we are considering”. In that case, no American government officials would travel to China, but athletes could participate.
Currently, there are more and more calls from US politics for both a diplomatic and a full boycott to draw attention to human rights violations and the oppression of Uighur Muslims. The Chinese Foreign Ministry dismissed the allegations as “false and totally unfounded” and called Washington’s allegations a “joke in the eyes of the Chinese people”.
WTA is also threatening China
Meanwhile, the WTA players’ organization has increased pressure on China in connection with the missing tennis player Peng Shuai. “We are definitely ready to do so and would take care of all the complications that this entails,” said WTA boss Steve Simon at CNN when asked about a possible withdrawal of all WTA tournaments from China.
It is estimated that the WTA could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in such a move. But Simon made it clear: “This is bigger than business. Women must be respected and not censored.”
The concerns about the 35-year-old former world number one in doubles are great worldwide. Peng Shuai wrote on the Twitter-like medium Weibo earlier this month that he had been sexually abused by former Vice Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli, 75. The entry in the social media was deleted, Peng has allegedly been gone for days.
On Wednesday, the Chinese media published an email that is said to have come from her. “I am neither missing nor am I not sure. I just rest at home, everything is fine,” it says.
Prominent companions like Alexander Zverev expressed concern. “I hope it will be found soon,” said the Olympic champion at the ATP Finals in Turin: “We’re not talking about a tennis match here, we’re talking about a human life.” Naomi Osaka wrote on Twitter: “I am shocked by the current situation and I send her love and light.”