IOC says Peng Shuai told Olympic officials she is safe

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Chinese tennis participant Peng Shuai took part in a 30-moment movie call from Beijing with IOC officers and told them she was risk-free and nicely, the Olympic overall body said Sunday.

The connect with came amid expanding world wide alarm more than Peng. Her look at a youth tennis event Sunday in Beijing and social media posts on her behalf did not totally encourage persons outdoors China that she has independence to act, immediately after she alleged a sexual assault against a previous top Communist Bash official.

The call — with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, athletes fee chair Emma Terho and IOC member Li Lingwei, a former vice president of the Chinese Tennis Affiliation — seems to be Peng’s initial immediate speak to with sports activities officers outside the house China since she disappeared from public see Nov. 2.

Peng “thanked the IOC for its concern about her effectively-remaining,” the Switzerland-based mostly Olympic body stated in a assertion.

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“She described that she is secure and perfectly, dwelling at her household in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy revered at this time. That is why she prefers to devote her time with pals and relatives appropriate now,” the assertion mentioned.

Peng, who performed for China at a few Olympics from 2008 to 2016, created a sexual assault allegation on social media three weeks ago from a previous member of the Communist Party’s ruling Standing Committee, Zhang Gaoli.

The post was eliminated inside minutes, and the previous top-ranked doubles participant went missing from community see. She did not reply publicly to phone calls for information to exhibit she was safe and sound.

The IOC has been criticized for becoming fairly silent in community as problem for Peng grew in the past week. It has pursued a “quiet diplomacy” policy with the 2022 Olympics host nation. The Beijing Wintertime Online games open Feb. 4.

Bach invited Peng to be part of him at a meal when he comes in Beijing in January, “which she gladly recognized,” the IOC said. Terho and Li were being also invited.

“I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was carrying out high-quality, which was our key concern,” Terho explained in the IOC assertion. The hockey player from Finland signifies athletes on the IOC govt board.

“She appeared to be relaxed,” Terho extra. “I made available her our assist and to remain in contact at any time of her benefit, which she clearly appreciated.”