IOC president says he will investigate reports China child athletes are being beaten

IOC president Jacques Rogge said Sunday he will investigate reports China's child gymnasts and swimmers are being beaten by their coaches.

Rogge was responding to a BBC report in which four-time Olympic rowing gold medalist Matthew Pinsent visited a school in Beijing _ host of the 2008 Olympics _ and saw child athletes being beaten.

Rogge said he would contact the international gymnastics federation and the national Olympic committee for explanations.

"We need to establish if this is systematic or whether there are regrettable isolated cases which will also have to be tackled," Rogge was quoted as saying in the Sunday Telegraph.

"If the IOC believe the methods are widespread and unacceptable, then we will talk to the authorities."

But Rogge said it was unfair to judge China too harshly by modern western standards.

"While I am the first one to say that human rights have to be respected and we will push for human rights, one has to judge China in the true perspective of realizing that 50 years ago they were nowhere," Rogge said.

"We cannot as wealthy westerners be so arrogant to say that it has to be according to our laws, laws that have developed over 200 years," he said. "They (China) started from scratch in 1949 and have evolved a lot.", AP reported. V.A.

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