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US Lawmakers Seek Proof From Olympic Committee That Uniforms Will Not Be Made Using Forced Labor

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for assurances that uniforms for the upcoming 2022 Beijing Games are not made using forced labor, according to a Jan. 12 letter (pdf). The Congressional-Executive Commission on China asked IOC President Thomas Bach for further information about its contracts with uniform supplier Anta Sports and Hengyuanxiang Group (HYX Group). “There is a worrisome possibility that IOC personnel or others attending the 2022 Olympic Games will be wearing clothing contaminated by forced labor,” said commission leaders Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.), and ranking member Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.). Both Chinese companies, which will tailor sportswear and formal uniforms for athletes and IOC members, had previously stated that they use cotton from Xinjiang, where a large Uyghur Muslim population resides. “Cotton produced in the XUAR [Xinjiang] is synonymous with forced labor and the systematic repression that …

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