Peng Shuai reveals she is “safe and well” in IOC video interview
Peng Shuai is reportedly “safe and well” after having a 30-minute long video interview with the president of the International Olympics Committee (IOC).
The IOC opted for “quiet diplomacy” in their effort to answer their questions and concerns regarding the censorship of Peng Shuai, feeling that “from experience, it offers the best opportunity.”
Former French Open and Wimbledon doubles champion Peng Shuai has been out of the public eye since November 2nd, when she first accused former Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into a sexual relationship.
Her original accusation post on Weibo was removed within 30 minutes and the WTA remain unconvinced and concerned, having released multiple statements regarding the situation.
The IOC have since held a 30-minute long video interview with Peng Shuai herself. Present in the call were IOC president Thomas Bach, chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission Emma Terho and IOC Member in China Li Lingwei.
The IOC released a statement regarding their interview with Peng, which read “at the beginning of the 30-minute call, Peng Shuai thanked the IOC for its concern about her well-being.
“She explained that she is safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time.
“That is why she prefers to spend her time with friends and family right now. Nevertheless, she will continue to be involved in tennis, the sport she loves so much.
“I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing fine, which was our main concern. She appeared to be relaxed. I offered her our support and to stay in touch at any time of her convenience, which she obviously appreciated,” Terho said.
“At the end of the call, IOC President Bach invited Peng Shuai for a dinner once he arrives in Beijing next January, which she gladly accepted, and the two agreed to include Emma Terho and Li Lingwei.
Whilst the interview determined that Peng was safe, it provided few details, no follow-ups or updates to her allegations and invited further questions for the IOC, Peng, and China to answer.
The IOC has been criticised by the WTA and human rights organisations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for their handling of the situation, being accused and warned of becoming a tool for Chinese propaganda.
They have also received criticism for their plans to move forward with plans to hold the Olympics in China despite the alleged crimes against humanity towards Uyghur Muslims, Tibetans, and other minorities.
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