Peng Shuai ‘reconfirms’ she is safe and well in second call with IOC, says Olympic organization

Among China’s many identifiable sports stars, Peng openly implicated a previous leading Communist Celebration authorities, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, of pushing her into sex at his house 3 years back in a since-deleted social networks post dated November 2.

Peng was instantly stifled by blanket censorship and vanished from public view for more than 2 weeks, triggering the females’s tennis world to require responses regarding her location — in addition to a complete examination into her claims versus Zhang.

In the middle of growing international protest, people working for Chinese government-controlled media and the state sports system launched a variety of “proof of life” images and videos of Peng.

On November 21, the IOC stated in a declaration that its president, Thomas Bach, held a 30-minute video call with three-time Olympian Peng, together with a Chinese sports authorities and an extra IOC agent, and stated that throughout the call, Peng seemed “doing fine” and was “relaxed,” stating she “would like to have her privacy respected.” The IOC did not discuss how the video call with Peng was arranged and has actually not made the video openly readily available.

Peng Shuai returning a shot against Daria Kasatkina during her singles match at the 2019 China Open.

Summing up the 2nd call, the IOC stated that it had actually used the tennis star “wide-ranging support,” and vowed to remain in routine touch with her, including that it had “already agreed on a personal meeting in January.”

The IOC likewise informed CNN that it wasn’t supplying any visual possession of Wednesday’s 2nd video call amidst growing suspicion about how easily Peng has actually been permitted to interact, in addition to issue for her security.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) on Wednesday revealed an instant suspension of all competitions in China, consisting of Hong Kong, in action to Beijing’s silencing of the sexual attack claims.

Later Thursday, a WTA spokesperson informed CNN it had actually gotten a brand-new e-mail from Peng.

According to the WTA, this is the 3rd e-mail its had from Peng.

Mentioning a “confirmed source” in a Twitter post Thursday, Chinese state media-affiliated press reporter Shen Shiwei stated that the e-mail from Shuai “expressed her shock for WTA’s unfair decision to suspend all tournaments in China.”

Responding to this newest e-mail, a WTA spokesperson stated that the company waits its choice to suspend competitions in China.

China counters at boycott

WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon stated that the choice was based upon the “unacceptable” action of Chinese authorities, consisting of hurrying to censor Peng’s claims and overlooking require a complete and transparent examination.

“In good conscience, I don’t see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai is not allowed to communicate freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of sexual assault,” Simon stated.

“Given the current state of affairs, I am also greatly concerned about the risks that all of our players and staff could face if we were to hold events in China in 2022.”

Former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli (seen here in 2012) was publicly accused by Peng of coercing her into sex at his home three years ago.

Beijing fired back at the choice, with China’s state-run outlet, the Global Times, implicating the WTA of “setting a bad example for the entire sporting world,” in an extremely important editorial released Thursday.

The piece called the WTA’s choice an “exaggerated show,” planned to serve as “a lever of Western public opinion against China’s political system.”

China “firmly opposes any act that politicizes sports,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative Wang Wenbin included throughout a rundown Thursday.

'Unanimous conclusion' that Peng Shuai is 'fine,' says IOC member Dick Pound

“Unfortunately, the leadership in China has not addressed this very serious issue in any credible way. While we now know where Peng is, I have serious doubts that she is free, safe, and not subject to censorship, coercion, and intimidation,” Simon stated.

Long time IOC member Penis Pound stated the “unanimous conclusion” by those on the November 21 call with Peng is that she is great, including he has actually been “puzzled” by the worldwide response to the call.

Chinese authorities have actually not acknowledged Peng’s claims versus Zhang — who has actually faded from public life because his retirement in 2018 — and there is no indicator an examination is underway. It stays uncertain if Peng has actually reported her claims to the authorities.

Players signal assistance for WTA

Guy’s world No. 1 Novak Djokovic stated he supported the WTA’s boycott.

“I support fully WTA’s stance because we don’t have enough information about Shuai Peng and her well-being,” Djokovic stated in Madrid following a Davis Cup tie. “It’s life of a tennis player that is in question here, so we, as the tennis community, need to stand together.”

Tennis terrific Martina Navratilova called the WTA’s relocation a “brave stance,” and asked “what say you, @IOC ?!? #IOC – so far I can barely hear you!!! #WhereisPengShuai.”
On the other hand, WTA creator and 12 grand slam songs winner Billie Jean King stated the company was on “the right side of history in supporting our players,” including that she praised Simon and the WTA for “taking a strong stand on defending human rights in China & around the world.”

Zhang has actually kept a low profile and faded from public life because his retirement in 2018, and there is no public info associating with his present location.

Prior to retiring as vice premier, Zhang was the head of a Chinese federal government working group for the Beijing Games. In the function, he examined locations, checked out professional athletes, revealed main symbols and convened to collaborate preparation work.

Zhang formerly fulfilled with IOC President Bach on a minimum of one event, with the 2 being photographed together shaking hands in the Chinese capital in 2016.

CNN’s Aleks Klosk contributed reporting.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.