Human rights group blasts IOC for ‘flip-flopping’ over detained Chinese competitor

Austrian climber Markus Beck accused the International Olympic Committee of hypocrisy and human rights abuses Sunday for allegedly “willfully blind and reckless” efforts to help China’s Peng Shuai escape from the custody of an…

Human rights group blasts IOC for 'flip-flopping' over detained Chinese competitor

Austrian climber Markus Beck accused the International Olympic Committee of hypocrisy and human rights abuses Sunday for allegedly “willfully blind and reckless” efforts to help China’s Peng Shuai escape from the custody of an Olympic security contractor, according to news reports.

The IOC and officials at the Asian Games hosted by China in 2014 allege that 17-year-old Peng, who had competed at the Beijing Games four years earlier, was barred from competing in that event because she was under investigation for possible espionage and disrupting social order in China.

The IOC dropped charges against Peng and paid her approximately $160,000 last month after she had threatened to sue the IOC.

Beck also says he wasn’t let into the Chinese city of Changsha where the 2018 World Figure Skating Championships were being held, because he challenged China’s assertion that she was there to discuss dropping charges against her.

Human Rights Watch accused the IOC of sportswashing, according to Fox News Insider.

“The IOC is justifying a crime by Russia,” Secretary-General Kenneth Roth told the Financial Times. “Russia and these other governments are being framed.”

The World Figure Skating Championships are the second major international event where organizers apparently refused Beck entry. In March, Beck lost a court case against the World Figure Skating Union because it turned down a request that the event be canceled.

A day after it announced Beck’s victory, a group of high-ranking IOC members denied his request to observe events or speak with Peng.

IOC President Thomas Bach did not comment on the dispute. A spokesman said: “The IOC remains committed to the principle of full respect for the autonomy of national institutions and independent judiciaries around the world.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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