Beijing Winter Olympics 2022: Vladimir Putin backs China over 'politicisation' of event

The US is among several countries which have said they will not send politicians or other representatives to next month's Games in a so-called diplomatic boycott, citing concerns over human rights in China

The Associated Press January 25, 2022 20:45:21 IST
Beijing Winter Olympics 2022: Vladimir Putin backs China over 'politicisation' of event

File image of Russian president Vladimir Putin. AP

Moscow: Russia and China oppose the politicisation of sport and demonstrative boycotts ahead of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday in an address to his country's athletes.

The US is among several countries which have said they will not send politicians or other representatives to next month's Games in a so-called diplomatic boycott, citing concerns over human rights in China. Putin plans to attend the Olympics and to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

I consider the main goal of these competitions to attract as many citizens as possible to sport and the strengthening of friendship between peoples. These approaches are shared by the organizers of the upcoming Games, our Chinese friends, Putin said.

Together we stand against the politicization of sport and demonstrative boycotts. We support the traditional Olympic values, above all, equality and fairness.

Instead of the usual ceremony in Moscow before Russian teams depart to the Olympics, Putin addressed athletes by video link as they gathered at training centres across the country.

I ask you and all of your teammates to rigorously observe all requirements of the organising committee for the Games and to strictly follow all medical instructions, he said.

As at last year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Russians will be competing without their country's name or flag at the Beijing Games in the fallout from years-long doping disputes. The team will be known as ROC, short for Russian Olympic Committee.

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