Germany's Erik Lesser, a three-time Olympic medalist, said it was the International Olympic Committee — and not the athletes — who should face criticism over Beijing being given the right to host the winter Olympics despite China's human rights record.

Lesser, who won team and individual silver in biathlon at the 2014 Sochi Games as well as team bronze at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, said athletes had been left in the cold by the IOC.

"We are now standing here having to justify ourselves for the Olympic Games (being held) in a country where human rights are violated," he told the Muenchner Merkur newspaper. "So in turn we have to be more critical about what Thomas Bach as president of the IOC did not achieve,"