© Reuters. Susanne Lyons, Acting Executive Director of the United States Olympic Committee, testifies before a Commerce Subcommittee hearing titled “Empowering and Empowering American Amateur Athletes: Moving Forward with Solutions” on Capitol Hill in the Was
By Steve Keating (Reuters) – Susanne Lyons, president of the United States Olympic Paralympic Committee (USOPC), said on Wednesday that athletes can look forward to many more talks about a US boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, but again argued. that there were more effective ways to tackle human rights abuses in China. During the opening session of a three-day virtual media summit to highlight America’s plans ahead of this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, Lyons focused on China’s Winter Games, responding to comments from the Department of State that there are ongoing discussions on how to proceed with participation in them. “I think we will continue to see a lot of discussion on the boycott issue and I just want to point out again what we have said very consistently,” Lyons said. “We at USOPC oppose athlete boycotts because they have been shown to negatively impact athletes without effectively addressing global issues in the past.” In a briefing on Tuesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price repeated Washington‘s concerns over Beijing’s human rights violations, in particular its persecution of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region, which the United States considers a genocide. When asked whether the United States was discussing with its allies whether or not to consider a possible joint boycott, Price said; It is something that we certainly want to discuss ”. Price later clarified in an email that he was referring to the United States having a coordinated approach rather than saying it was specifically discussing a joint boycott. “Since yesterday, the State Department has clarified its position, they have denied that they were saying that a boycott was moving forward and said that the Biden administration is in more general talks with allies about human rights violations in China,” Lyons said. “We certainly do not want to minimize the serious human rights problems that are occurring in China in any way, but the United States has many tools to respond constructively to these concerns.” We do not believe that athletes on Team USA should be used as political pawns. on these issues. “The administration of US President Joe Biden said earlier this year that it had no plans to ban US athletes from the Beijing Games.