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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Sunday that the organization’s leadership had approved 30,Minute call with Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai.

Peng, 35, wrote a post on China’s social media platform Weibo alleging that he was sexually abused at the hands of former Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli. Peng claimed that 75-year-old Zhang forced her to have sex three years ago, despite repeated refusals after a round of tennis.


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The post was immediately deleted and Peng disappeared from social media and public view for two weeks. Tennis players and officials, led by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) CEO Steve Simon, are calling for a full investigation into Peng’s claims as well as assurances of her safety and well-being.

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Beijing released videos and photos of Peng’s limited public appearances over the past few days, culminating in a conversation sunday Peng between IOC President Thomas Bach, IOC Athletes Commission Chair Emma Terho, and IOC Member Li Lingwei in China. This will be the first visual contact between Peng and any foreign entity since his initial allegations and disappearance.

Peng thanked the committee for its concern, saying she was “safe and well” at her home in Beijing and wanted her privacy to be respected.

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Tero said the committee was “relieved” to see Peng recovering and “looking at ease”.

“I offered to extend my support to him and get in touch at any time of his convenience, which he clearly appreciated,” Terro said.

Peng Shuai's disappearance may be part of President Xi Jinping's cultural action.

Bach invited Peng to dine with him when he went to Beijing in January, which he accepted.

The IOC faced criticism for being largely silent, while US tennis officials took a tough stand against Beijing: Simon threatened to withdraw all WTA tournaments from China, while the IOC called it “quiet diplomacy“With the 2022 Olympics the host country, Newsweek reported.

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The Beijing Winter Olympics begin on 4 February.

The IOC redirected all questions to its statement, and the WTA told Granthshala News it was “nice to see Peng Shuai” but did not reduce or address the WTA’s concerns.

FILE - WTA Chief Executive Steve Simon smiling during a retirement ceremony for Martina Hingis on October 29, 2017 in Singapore.  An email from a Chinese professional tennis player posted on Twitter by a Chinese state media outlet has raised concerns about his safety as the sport's biggest stars and others abroad inquired about his well being and whereabouts. call for.  Simon, the president and chief executive officer of the Women's Tennis Association, has questioned the authenticity of the email intended for her, in which Grand Slam doubles champion Peng Shuai says she is safe and the allegation of assault is untrue.  (AP photo/Yong Taek Lim, file)

The WTA stressed the need for Peng to speak “without censorship or coercion” and highlighted that Beijing has upheld the organization’s call for “a full, fair and transparent investigation, without censorship” into Peng’s sexual assault allegations. not addressed.

Beijing has released several photos and videos over the past few days as tennis officials and Western government officials apply mounting pressure.

Simon has threatened that if Beijing does not agree to a formal, independent investigation into Peng’s allegations, the dozen WTA tournaments held in China each year will be withdrawn, even though the move could harm tennis. Is.

But Beijing says it is “ignorant” of Peng’s situation. Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters on Friday that the matter was “not a diplomatic question, and I am not aware of the situation” – a stance he has maintained whenever a reporter asks about Peng.