'No respect': China savaged over 'unacceptable' Winter Olympics farce

Natalia Maliszewska, pictured here ahead of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Natalia Maliszewska is just one athlete to complain about conditions in Beijing for the Winter Olympics. Image: Getty

Chinese officials have been accused of not respecting an athlete's human rights as complaints about Covid-19 protocols continue to pile up at the Winter Olympics.

On Sunday, Finland's ice hockey head coach Jukka Jalonen said Marko Anttila was "not getting good food" and was under tremendous mental stress while in quarantine.

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"We know that he's fully healthy and ready to go and that's why we think that China, for some reason, they won't respect his human rights and that's not a great situation," Jalonen said.

According to Finland's team doctor, Anttila is no longer infectious but continues to be kept in Covid-19 isolation after testing positive 18 days ago.

More than 350 Games participants, including dozens of athletes, have tested positive on arrival in Beijing.

They can leave special quarantine hotels only once they are free of symptoms and test negative in two PCR tests 24 hours apart.

Several Games participants have complained about the isolation conditions, as well as the confusing procedures around being allowed to leave.

Organisers said on Sunday that they were trying to address the complaints.

Jalonen said the International Ice Hockey Federation met the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Sunday to discuss Anttila and other athlete cases.

"Hopefully, something positive we will find out," the coach said.

Marko Anttila, pictured here in action for Finland at the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships.
Marko Anttila (L) in action for Finland at the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships. (Photo by EyesWideOpen/Getty Images)

Uproar over 'unacceptable' conditions for athletes

On Saturday, Germany's team boss Dirk Schimmelpfennig called conditions for triple Olympic gold medallist Eric Frenzel and two other German athletes "unacceptable".

He demanded a complete overhaul of procedures including bigger and cleaner rooms, a working internet connection, sports equipment and better food.

Schimmelpfennig said organisers had acted after being contacted by the team, the ski federation and the IOC.

"We have succeeded since yesterday in achieving a marked improvement in conditions for the athletes," he told reporters.

Eric Frenzel, pictured here at the FIS World Cup Nordic Combined in January.
Eric Frenzel at the FIS World Cup Nordic Combined in January. (Photo by Franz Kirchmayr/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

Polish short track speed skater Natalia Maliszewska also posted on Twitter that her Olympics campaign had turned into a 'horror' story after she tested positive on January 30.

Maliszewska claimed she had received several positive and negative tests.

"Finally, on the day of the start (on Saturday) at 3:00 am, people pull me out of solitary... That night was a horror," she posted.

"I slept with my clothes on because I was afraid that someone would take me to solitary in a moment again.

"I only looked a little through the curtains. With one eye, because I was afraid someone would see me."

Hours later, Maliszewska said she packed for the ice rink to take part in the 500m heats.

"And suddenly the news that they have made a mistake! That they shouldn't let me out of solitary confinement!

"That I am a threat after all! That I can't compete. I have to get back to the village asap."

On Sunday night, Maliszewska posted a photo of herself rinkside, declaring "I'm back!"

with AAP

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