Team USA reportedly tells athletes not to take their phones to the Winter Olympics

Winter Olympics in Beijing

IOC

U.S. athletes heading to the Beijing Winter Olympics next month have reportedly been asked to leave their personal phones behind due to security concerns.

Team USA has urged Americans competing in the games to take burner phones instead to prevent potential surveillance, according to a Friday report from The Wall Street Journal.

Team USA and the International Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The report comes after the Biden administration confirmed it in December no US officials will participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, stages a diplomatic boycott of China’s human rights abuses.

“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Beijing 2022 due to China’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights violations,” said press secretary Jen Psaki during a December press briefing. “The athletes on Team USA have our full support.”

The Winter Olympics start on February 4 and include seven new sports such as monobob – a bobsleigh competition for women only.

Read more: How to watch the Beijing Winter Olympics: Everything to know

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