The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has dropped Chinese sportswear maker Li-Ning as its official uniform sponsor just over a month before the Tokyo Games are expected to begin
The move comes a week after the organization’s unveiling of the new kit was met with swift criticism amid strained relations between India and China. Indian athletes, coaches and support staff will now wear unbranded apparel to the Games save for the official ceremonial kits, which are sponsored by domestic brand Raymond.
The organization said it sought advice from the sports ministry before deciding to terminate its contract with Li-Ning, which began with the 2016 Rio Olympics and was set to conclude after the Tokyo Games.
Like India, American lawmakers also recently urged members of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to ditch their endorsement deals with Chinese sportswear brands that employ cotton grown in the northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, warning that they could be seen as endorsing, even implicitly, potential forced labor widely believed to be occurring there.
Finish local newspaper Yle also implicated the Finnish arm of German discount retailer Lidl, of selling outerwear manufactured by the Kashi Rising Garment in Xinjiang in recent years.
Lidl Finland, which says it prohibits any forced labor in its supply chain, will be pausing orders from the factory as it launches an investigation, according to Laura Kvissberg, its sustainability specialist.
The United StatesSenate has also approved a legislation to dedicate $250 billion to scientific research and development over the next five years.
The US Innovation and Competition Act will appropriate $52 billion in emergency funding for the semiconductor industry and authorize $81 billion in spending by the National Science Foundation.