IOC interview with tennis professional Peng Shuai raises even more questions

Posted at 2:19 AM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 07:15:48-05

Peng Shuai's appearance in a 30-minute video call with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach aired after the Chinese tennis player was out of public view for almost three weeks.

The IOC and the Chinese government would like this to be the end of a saga which has run since Peng accused former vice premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault and then disappeared.

That may be wishful thinking on their part.

The interview offered few details, no follow-ups on her allegations, and invited more questions for the IOC, Peng, and China. Peng told Olympic officials she was safe and well. It appears to be Peng’s first direct contact with sports officials outside China since she disappeared from public view on Nov. 2

Not only is the IOC now embroiled in this scandal, it has also been widely criticized for going ahead with the Olympics despite alleged crimes against humanity taking place in China.

China's Foreign Ministry is sticking to its line that it isn't aware of the controversy surrounding tennis professional Peng. A ministry spokesperson said Friday that the matter was not a diplomatic question and that he was not aware of the situation.

Peng is a former top-ranked player in women’s doubles who won Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014.

In a since-deleted social media post, Peng accused former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of assaulting her three years ago.

The International Olympic Committee says quiet diplomacy offers the best opportunity for a solution.