Drew Neilson has called for the Canadian team to boycott Beijing 2022 ©Getty Images

Retired snowboarder and two-time Olympian Drew Neilson has called for his home nation Canada to boycott the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, stating that human rights abuses in China should not be ignored.

The 47-year-old, who competed at the Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, said he did not want to be called an Olympian anymore, stating his disgust for the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to hold the Games in Beijing.

"I'm really disgusted," said Neilson to CBC.

"I don't even want to be called an Olympian anymore.

"The IOC recognises...human rights as enshrined both in the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter and the code of ethics, and they say the IOC takes this responsibility very seriously - but do they?"

Neilson retired from snowboard cross in 2010 as a world bronze medallist from 2003.

He finished 17th and 11th in snowboard cross at his two Games and was a nine-time World Cup race winner, as well as the overall champion in 2007.

"I'm not against the Olympics," he added.

"I am against defending the organisation that is running it and [the country] they are taking it to.

"It just boggles my mind that people can look away from what's going on in China, just so they can watch people play games for little pieces of metal."

Protests have been rampant from human rights groups against the Beijing 2022 Olympics ©Getty Images
Protests have been rampant from human rights groups against the Beijing 2022 Olympics ©Getty Images

Human rights abuses and scandals in China at the moment include alleged mistreatment and internment of Uyghur Muslims, silencing freedom of expression, curbing democracy in Hong Kong and the status of tennis player Peng Shuai, who last month alleged she was sexually assaulted and had an extramarital affair with a senior Chinese politician, Zhang Gaoli.

However, the likes of former swimmer Eugene Gyorfi - who missed the Moscow 1980 Games due to the Canadian boycott - said the political action did not work previously.

"I still have the letter from the Government announcing the boycott and how it wasn't just athletes," said Gyorfi to CBC.

"[It said] farmers weren't going to be selling grain to the Russians, and that there were a number of measures that were really going to show the Russians.

"It made no difference...it didn't cause them to withdraw their troops, and it didn't cause them to change their political policies."

Canada has emerged as one of the top winter sport nations at the Games, finishing in the top three on the medal table at the past three editions, including first at Vancouver 2010.

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are scheduled to take place from February 4 to 20 2022.