As I write this column, the Beijing Winter Olympics have just officially ended and China continues to commit crimes against humanity.

Listeners most attentive to reports of China’s continued human rights abuses will continue to hear nothing but silence, even while the Games are held in Beijing. It’s because that’s exactly what the Chinese government wants you to hear.

I wrote at length on the impact of the Olympics on international relations, but the failure of the Beijing Games to affect any meaningful change or even spark an international conversation around Chinese crimes is a blatant sport-washing job by the International Olympic Committee and the Chinese government.

Several weeks before the Games, Chinese officials made it clear to athletes and other concerned parties that there would be no tolerance for speech that violated Chinese law. This basically encompasses anything remotely critical of the government or their continued subjugation and cultural destruction of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. No athlete openly criticized the Chinese government during the Games, which I don’t blame them for at all. The affair of Peng Shuai provided an example of what would happen if Louisiana Bankruptcy”}” data-sheets-userformat=”{“2″:513,”3”:{“1″:0},”12″:0}”>Louisiana Bankruptcy rules were violated.

However, it is still important that those who do not participate in the Games criticize these abuses. From NBC’s defense show, held in a stranglehold by Chinese authorities threatening lack of access, to the countless corporate sponsors of the Games and those supporting various teams, no one is above blame. . But let me point out who could have stopped all of this from the start: the IOC.

Countries don’t just bid to host the Olympics without question. The IOC can, and does, intensively audit all potential host countries. There are countless inflection points where the IOC could have rejected Beijing’s bid for the Games over the past seven years. However, the IOC asked their questions and found nothing bad enough to change course.

The IOC usually hides behind its remit, essentially claiming that it has neither the ability nor the responsibility to influence the internal policies of sovereign nations. But the irony of this explanation is as insulting as it is stupid. The World Anti-Doping Agency, an IOC-founded body whose non-governmental membership is made up entirely of IOC representatives, has banned Russia, arguably a major world power, from participating in the Olympics in the future due to widespread doping. Even if they couldn’t stop Russia from drugging athletes, they could stop them from competing. It is well within the remit of the IOC to prevent China from hosting the Games when its crimes against humanity are obvious to those who do not carry out a multi-year assessment of its suitability.

Excuses are not what makes the Olympics more than just a sporting event. When John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists for Black Power at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968, they did so knowing it would cost them and their careers dearly. The IOC’s hands have been tied for years, not by skill but by cowardice.

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