China Calls Foul Over Tell-all Sports Memoir

Could China have engaged in underhand dealings to secure Beijing as its 2008 Olympics site? According to a memoir by Yuan Weimin, former Olympics coach and former head of the Chinese Olympic Committee, the answer is yes. Not surprisingly, the book has stirred up significant controversy. From Barbara Demick for the Los Angeles Times:

It is fairly mild stuff by the standards of tell-all-memoirs: no sex, no shoe boxes stuffed with cash. But it is making a splash in China just the same because it is so unusual for anybody from the inner sanctum of the Chinese sporting world to break the code of silence that usually prevails over sensitive subjects.

“I haven’t seen many tell-all books come out after the Olympics, not in any country, much less in China,” said David Wallechinsky, the author of several books about the Games.

Although the Chinese government has not taken action against Yuan or the publisher, a nongovernmental organization, the Chinese Assn. for the Promotion of Olympic Culture said last week it would file a civil lawsuit against Yuan’s publisher, Beijing Fonghong Media Co., to prevent publication of any copies beyond the 200,000 in print in China.

“The book contains content which is far from the truth and . . . its publication can be considered as leaking of state secrets,” the association said in a statement last week.

October 30, 2009 11:02 PM
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