By STEPHEN WADE
AP Sports Writer
Human Rights Watch is asking leading sponsors of the Beijing Winter Olympics to explain why they remain largely silent about alleged human rights abuses in China with the Games opening there in just under three months. The rights group said in an on-line briefing that it had reached out to the International Olympic Committee’s so-called TOP sponsors — and leading broadcast rights holder NBC — in lengthy letters almost six months ago. It said it received few responses. The letters asked sponsors to be aware of the rights climate in China and to scrutinize supply chains and other operations. Sponsors pay billions of dollars to the IOC.