Peng Shuai US Open 2014

‘We can’t provide certainty on anything’ – IOC confess regarding Peng Shuai’s safety

An International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman has admitted that their heavily-criticised interview with Peng Shuai hasn’t provided any certainty, saying they “can’t give assurances and don’t know full facts.”

The IOC are currently the only organisation outside of China to have had direct video communication with Peng Shuai after she accused former Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into a sexual relationship.

In a video interview with the IOC, former French Open and Wimbledon doubles champion Peng revealed she was “safe and well.”

However, this video call has been widely-criticised by players both past and present, as well as human and athletes’ rights groups.

The initial interview was slammed and labelled a “publicity stunt” and a “media exercise”, with others warning the IOC could become a “Chinese propaganda machine” and may be “putting Peng at greater risk.”

The IOC have consistently defended their actions and their general approach of “quiet diplomacy,” insisting it is a “very powerful tool.” 

Whilst the chairman of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Steve Simon has had email contact with Peng, he feels this correspondence has been “100% orchestrated.”

As a result, the WTA have withdrawn all tournaments from China due to both their refusal and failure to cooperate with Simon’s requests for a “full, fair and transparent investigation.”

In a press conference, IOC Spokesman Mark Adams admitted “we can’t provide you with absolute certainty on anything.

“All we can do is do the best we can in the process that we believe is in the best interests of the well-being of the athlete. We can’t give assurances and we don’t know the full facts.”

The IOC have agreed to hold a ‘personal meeting’ with Peng in January. On this meeting Adams said “it’s a full road map to at least attempt to keep in touch and to see where she is.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.