US lawmakers from both sides have written a letter to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach inquiring about the group’s links to two Chinese companies in China’s Xinjiang province to make their uniforms.
China is accused of genocide and forced labor against the province’s large Uighur Muslim population. It denies the allegations.
The letter said that cotton from Xinjiang “is synonymous with forced labor and the systematic repression that takes place there.”
The Congress-Executive Commission on China, or CECC, wrote, “There is a worrying possibility that IOC personnel or others participating in the 2022 Olympic Games may have worn clothing contaminated with forced labor.”
CECC chairman Senator Jeff Merkle and co-chair Representative James P. The letter, signed by McGovern as well as representative Christopher Smith, a ranking member, specifically stated that two companies, Anta Sports and the textile company Hengyuanxiang (HYX) Group, use Xinjiang cotton.
In the letter, the lawmakers asked the IOC to show the certificate of origin that was given to them from the HYX group. They have also asked the IOC to “explain the assurances” given to Anta Sports about their cotton products.
“As a starting point to fulfill its commitment to uphold and respect human rights, and in line with the protection of human dignity enshrined in the Olympic Charter, the IOC must uphold and respect the human rights of those who those who have their uniforms on their backs,” the letter ends.
In December, President Joe Biden signed the Uighur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which bans all imports into the United States from Xinjiang unless companies can show the U.S. government “clear and convincing evidence” of their supplies. The chains have not used the labor of ethnic Muslims. Chinese Camp.