National biathlon coach sees IOC in Beijing as an obligation

He does not think of a sports boycott of the Beijing Olympics: Mark Kirchner, national coach of the biathletes. Photo: Hendrik Schmidt / dpa (Image: dpa)
(Photo: Hendrik Schmidt / dpa)

Oberhof – National biathlon coach Mark Kirchner doesn’t believe in a sports boycott of the Beijing Olympics, but he is also critical of the games in China a month from now.

“I endorse the fact that athletes are not there to boycott and try to get the political stuff out on the sports field. We are there to go there and experience a sports festival, “Kirchner said at a digital press conference ahead of the World Cup at home in Oberhof:” Athletes are the last who can do anything there. ”

Kirchner, 51, who won three gold medals at the Olympics, sees the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as an obligation. “To what extent the IOC twists, looks for excuses and hides from the facts, that has become more than evident in recent weeks,” Kirchner said. For him, personally, it is not even a question that some conditions in China are “fundamentally not correct” and that these are “in no way to be accepted.” The IOC only has to “set the course, whether you have to go to China, to a country like this that can reward games,” Kirchner said.

More recently, the United States, Australia, Great Britain and Canada announced that they would not send politicians to the February 4-20 games. China has been criticized for human rights violations in its dealings with Uighurs and Tibetans, threats against Taiwan, and repression of the democratic movement in Hong Kong.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220105-99-597153 / 3

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