Tennis player Peng Shuai has appeared in public for the first time since her allegations. Among others, IOC President Thomas Bach addressed the Chinese.
Peng Shuai’s Sign of Life: The Chinese tennis player is apparently in good physical health and was touched by the great sympathy after her disappearance. The former doubles Grand Slam winner made a video call with IOC President Thomas Bach on Sunday and the Rings organization also handed out a corresponding photo. Previously, clips of the current classes have reportedly been distributed through Chinese state media. So everything’s OK ?
During the 30-minute conversation, which was also attended by the President of the Athletes’ Commission of the International Olympic Committee, Emma Terho, and Chinese IOC member Li Lingwei, Peng thanked them for their concern for their well-being. . According to the IOC, the 35-year-old said she was fine, but asked to be respected for her privacy. Peng also assured her that she would continue to be involved in the sport of tennis that she loves. But: The circumstances of their temporary disappearance remain unclear. And that leaves questions.
“I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing well, which was our main concern. She seemed relaxed. I offered to support her and keep in touch with her at all times, which she obviously appreciated. “Terho said in the IOC announcement. At the end of the call, Bach invited Peng to dinner upon his arrival in Beijing in January. The 35-year-old was happy to accept that.
The Winter Olympics will kick off in the Chinese capital on February 4. The situation was tense for the IOC and the host country even before the Peng Shuai affair. The Uyghur issue, Hong Kong and the Tibetan conflict are recurring topics in international media. More recently, US President Joe Biden threatened a diplomatic boycott – an affront to the Beijing regime.
Tennis: WTA threatens China to withdraw tournaments
Meanwhile, the fate of Peng Shuai preoccupied politicians, athletes and other celebrities around the world. The WTA tennis organization has threatened to withdraw tournaments from the Middle Empire. On Sunday, several signs of life were made public.
The editor of the state newspaper Global Times posted a short video on Twitter in which the 35-year-old was seen opening a youth tennis tournament at a Beijing stadium. In the clip, Peng wears a navy sports jacket and white sweatpants and stands in the middle of a group of guests whose names are applauded.
A reporter from a state newspaper tweeted another video allegedly showing Peng signing autographs for children at the same stadium and then posing for photos. A recording had already been released that was supposed to show the former Top 20 player with friends at a restaurant in Beijing.
It is clear that the restaurant video “was recorded on Saturday Beijing time,” wrote Global Times editor Hu Xijin. Indeed, during the conversation, a man says: “Tomorrow is November 20” – but is immediately corrected by a woman that it will be November 21 – and therefore Sunday. The conversation, apparently filmed on a smartphone, appears to be staged, and Peng makes a relaxed impression on the recordings.
WTA boss: “insufficient” video
WTA boss Steve Simon called the restaurant video “not enough.” The head of the women’s tennis organization called it “positive” that Peng could be seen. However, it is still unclear whether the player is “free and able to make decisions and take action independently and without coercion or outside interference”. This question remains unanswered even after the brief press release from the IOC.
Peng Shuai wrote on Twitter-style media Weibo earlier this month that he was sexually assaulted by former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, 75. The social network entry as well as many internet entries on Peng were deleted, of which there was no record afterwards. Calls for this should not be silenced even after the videos and posts that have now emerged.