IOC confirm they contacted Peng Shuai last week, with further meetings scheduled
A spokesperson confirmed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have been in continued contact with Peng Shuai and revealed she is “looking forward” to meeting IOC President Thomas Bach.
Back in November, former French Open and Wimbledon doubles champion Peng Shuai publicly disappeared for three weeks after she accused former Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into a sexual relationship.
After China failed to alleviate concerns regarding Peng’s autonomy and well-being and failed to fulfil the Women’s Tennis Association’s demands for a “full, fair and transparent investigation,” chairman Steve Simon withdrew all events from China including the WTA Finals.
As it stands, the IOC remain the only Western organisation to have established direct video communication with the Chinese star in the form of a video call. The WTA have been limited to email correspondence which Simon feels was “100% orchestrated.”
However, the call was lambasted for being too weak and was labelled a “publicity stunt.” Whilst their approach of “quiet diplomacy” was said to be putting Peng at greater risk and the IOC were criticised for allowing themselves to become a “Chinese propaganda tool.”
Although, last month the IOC did outline their plans to establish a “personal meeting” with Peng in January, which looks set to go ahead next week.
In an interview with a pro-Beijing news outlet last month, Peng retracted her allegations and said there had been some “misunderstandings.”
An IOC spokesperson said “since the first call that the IOC held with Peng Shuai on 21st November 2021, the IOC team has kept in touch with her and had a number of conversations with her – the last one just the past week.
“She mentioned again that she is looking forward to a meeting with IOC President Thomas Bach and Emma Terho, the Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, to which we had invited her in the first conversation.”
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