No support for Beijing boycott: Coates

Updated: 17 March 2008 16:56 IST

The Australian Olympic Committee does not support a boycott of the Beijing Games because of concerns about human rights in China, John Coates said.

Sydney:

The Australian Olympic Committee does not support a boycott of the Beijing Games because of concerns about human rights in China, committee president John Coates said on Monday.

Deadly violence in Tibet has raised some calls to boycott the sporting showcase.

But Coates said Australia agreed with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) policy that boycotting the event would only hurt the athletes participating.

"It is not the role of the IOC to take the lead in addressing such issues as human rights or political matters, which are most appropriately addressed by governments or concerned organisations," Coates said in an open letter.

"The fact that the Games in Beijing put the spotlight on the country, thereby encouraging discussion on issues of interest to the global community, is a positive outcome of bringing the Olympic movement to China.

"Australia has participated in every Olympic Games of the modern era and the Games in Beijing will be no different."

Topics : Athletics Olympics 2012
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