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Reports: Biden administration to announce diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics

Under a diplomatic boycott, the U.S. would not send a delegation — but American athletes would still be able to compete.

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is expected to announce a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics, meaning no U.S. officials would attend the Games — but U.S. athletes could still compete, reports said Sunday. 

Sources told CNN and NBC News that the Biden administration is expected to announce the diplomatic boycott this week. International advocacy groups and some members of Congress have called for a symbolic U.S. boycott of the games in Beijing over China’s treatment of Uyghurs and its crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong.

Biden first addressed the idea of a boycott last month. Asked by a reporter as he hosted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House, Biden said the U.S. was "considering" backing a boycott of the Games in February. 

The U.S. and other nations traditionally send high-level delegations to each Olympics. First lady Jill Biden led the American contingent to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo this year and second gentleman Doug Emhoff led a delegation to the Paralympic Games.  

In May, a coalition representing Uyghurs, Tibetans, residents of Hong Kong and others issued a statement calling for a full boycott, eschewing lesser measures like diplomatic boycotts. The U.S. last held a full boycott of the Olympics in 1980, when former Pres. Jimmy Carter was in office. 

READ MORE: AP: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

In July, China said a boycott "will not succeed". Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the country "firmly opposes the politicization of sports and the interference in other countries’ internal affairs by using human rights issues as a pretext."  

READ MORE: China slams Olympic boycott call, 'politicization of sports'

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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