Team GB’s participants at the Winter Olympics have been warned not to speak out about human rights issues while in China or they risk a similar plight to tennis star Peng Shuai.
A number of countries – including Great Britain – are staging political boycotts of next month’s Games in Beijing in protest over China’s human rights abuses.
No sporting boycotts are taking place but pressure group Global Athlete has slammed the International Olympic Committee for making athletes ‘pawns in a geopolitical fight’ and says they are ‘being used to legitimise the Chinese Government’.
Team GB’s Winter Olympics stars have been told not to discuss human rights issues in China
The group added: ‘With no guaranteed protection by the IOC or the Chinese authorities, we strongly advise athletes not to speak up about human rights issues while in China.
‘The disappearance of Peng Shuai is a glaring example of the type of the risk athletes face when they speak up.’
Global Athlete also believes the IOC are ‘placing the safety and wellbeing of every athlete at risk’ with their Covid protocols, having refused to provide athletes single room accommodations and forced participants to sign Covid liability waivers.
Pressure group Global Athlete have said Peng Shuai’s disappearance is an example of the risks