Omid Memarian

Friday, August 22, 2008

"No medals for the IOC"

Minky Worden Minky, media director at Human Rights Watch and editor of "China's Great Leap: The Beijing Games and Olympian Human Rights Challenges," that I interviewed her weeks ago for IPS, has published an op-ed piece in the International Herald Tribune about China, Olympics and the pledges that did not come true. She says in spite of pledges of media and Internet freedom made to the International Olympic Committee while bidding for the 2008 Olympics, the Chinese authorities are continuing to block access to Web sites of some international human rights organizations, press freedom groups and overseas Chinese-language news Web sites:
"The IOC is no stranger to creating new structures to deal with its failings. In the 1980s, major doping scandals led to negative headlines and the forced return of the Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson's gold medal. To save the Olympic movement, the IOC helped set up the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The corruption scandal that tainted the awarding of the 2002 Winter Games to Salt Lake City led to the expulsions and sanctions of some 20 Olympic committee members. The IOC set up an ethics committee in the wake of the public outcry." (Read the rest of this piece here.)


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