— Published 14 October 2021

John Coates rules out boycott

With less than four months to go before the opening of the event, the IOC continues to rule out any scenario of a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games (February 4th to 20th). After Thomas Bach, the discourse has now been taken up by one of the body’s vice-presidents, John Coates. The Australian leader responded this week to a question about human rights in China by assuring that the IOC would not discuss the issue with the Chinese authorities. “We are not the government of the world, we have to respect the sovereignty of the countries hosting the Games,” he said. “We don’t have the capacity to go into a country and tell it what to do… It’s not part of our remit”. The message is clear: the IOC will be flocking to China early next year for the 2022 Winter Games, but without the slightest intention of holding the Beijing regime accountable for its treatment of the Uighur community, who are forced to do hard labour in re-education camps, or for the way it responds to opponents in Hong Kong by using force.