Today, Sunday, the Olympic body said that the Chinese tennis player, Peng Shuai, participated in a 30-minute video call from Beijing with the officials of the International Olympic Committee, and told them that she is fine and in good health.
The call came amid growing global concern about Peng. Her appearance at a youth tennis event Sunday in Beijing and posting on social media on her behalf did not fully convince people outside of China that she had the freedom to act, after she claimed she was sexually assaulted by a former Communist Party official.
The call, with IOC President Thomas Bach, Athletes Commission President Emma Terhu and IOC member Li Lingui – former vice president of the Chinese Tennis Federation – appears to be Peng’s first direct contact with sports officials outside China since her disappearance. November 2nd.
In a statement, the Swiss-based Olympic body said Ping “thanked the IOC for its concern about her safety.”
“She made it clear that she is fine and in good health, and lives at her home in Beijing, but she would like her privacy to be respected at this time. That is why she prefers to spend her time with friends and family at this time,” the statement said.
Peng, who played for China at three Olympics from 2008 to 2016, made a sexual assault allegation on social media three weeks ago against a former member of the ruling Communist Party’s Standing Committee, Zhang Gaoli.
The post was removed within minutes, and the former highest-rated doubles player was lost from public viewing. She has not responded publicly to calls for information to appear safe.
The International Olympic Committee has been criticized for being relatively silent in public as concern over Peng has grown in the past week. It has pursued a policy of “quiet diplomacy” with the host country of the 2022 Olympics. The Winter Games in Beijing begin on February 4.
The IOC said Bach had now invited Ping to join him for a dinner upon his arrival in Beijing in January, “which she gladly accepted.” Terho and Li were also invited.
“I am relieved to see that Peng Shuai is doing well, and this is our main concern,” Terhu said in the IOC statement. The hockey player from Finland represents the athletes on the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee.
“She seemed relieved,” Terhu said. “She offered her our support and to stay in touch whenever it suits her, which she obviously appreciates.”