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Uyghurs: Australian Olympic Committee criticized for its Asics outfits


The controversy resurfaced on Wednesday with the presentation of the equipment that will dress Australian athletes during the Tokyo Games.

The Australian Olympic committee is in turn caught up by the controversy over the fate of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang due to its partnership with Asics, an equipment manufacturer accused of using cotton from Xinjiang despite concerns about forced labor in this Chinese province.

The controversy was revived on Wednesday with the presentation of the Asics equipment that will dress Australian athletes during the Tokyo Games.

"I don't think any Australian athlete wants to wear an outfit produced by a company that sources cotton from Xinjiang," Elaine Pearson, Australia director of Human Rights Watch, told AFP.

“This is a textbook case of the commitment of a company like Asics to human rights.

It must exercise due diligence and be transparent about its supply chain. ”

H&M, Nike, Adidad and Uniqlo get involved

Several ready-to-wear companies, such as the Swede H&M, the American Nike, the German Adidas and the Japanese Uniqlo pledged last year to boycott cotton from Xinjiang - a region which represents almost a fifth of world production and supplies many clothing giants.

Last week, in reaction to the sanctions imposed by the United Kingdom, the EU, the United States and Canada on China for its treatment of Uyghurs, these commitments made by several textile giants timely resurfaced on the network. Chinese social Weibo.

There followed a tide of boycott calls on Chinese social networks targeting Nike, H&M but also Adidas and Zara, some of whose products have been withdrawn from the main Chinese online sales sites.

But Asics is one of the companies that, in the hope of preserving their access to the vast Chinese market, initially pledged "to continue to buy and support cotton from Xinjiang."

"We were assured that the cotton used to dress the Australian Olympic team did not come from this region"

The Vice President of the Australian Olympic Committee

Nathan Ruser, a researcher at the Australian Institute for Strategic Policy, considers "disgusting and shameful" that the Australian Olympic delegation is dressed by the Japanese brand.

"We are fully committed to working closely with our partners to ensure that human rights are respected, as well as environmental standards," said an Asics spokesperson on Wednesday.

He also assured that the first statement of the company published on a Chinese social network did not represent "the official position of the company".

The Australian Olympic Committee also sought to defend his choice.

“We have been assured that the cotton used to dress the Australian Olympic team does not come from this region,” said Committee Vice-Chairman Ian Chesterman.

“I believe that the athletes at this time need to focus on what their job is, which is to compete for Australia,” he added at a press conference.

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Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2021-03-31

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