Peng Shuai: IOC member Dick Pound ‘confused’ by reaction to tennis player’s video call

The video call comes after Peng, one of China’s most famous sports stars, was publicly accused Former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli about forcing her to have sex at his home, according to a screenshot of a deleted November 2 social media post.
After the accusation, Peng disappeared from public view, prompting some fellow tennis players to express concern on social media, using hashtags #WhereIsPengShuai.

The IOC did not make the video public and did not explain how the call was organized. Instead, it released an image of the call and a statement saying that Peng “is safe and healthy, lives at her home in Beijing, but wants her privacy to be respected.” this moment.”

Earlier this week, China Human Rights Watch director Sophie Richardson denounced the IOC’s role in coordinating with Chinese authorities on Peng’s re-emergence, while the head of the Pants Association Women’s tennis player (WTA), Steve Simon, said the IOC’s intervention was not enough to assuage concerns about Peng’s appearance. safety.

“I have to say I’m really confused with that assessment of it,” Pound told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in response to the criticism.

“Basically a lot of people around the world are wanting to see what happened to Peng Shuai and no one has been able to establish contact.

“Only the IOC could do so and had a video chat with Thomas Bach, an older Olympic athlete, and two younger female members of the IOC. No one released the video because I guess. that aspect is private.

“They found her in good health and in good spirits and they saw no evidence of detention or anything like that.”

Peng has not been seen in public since the alleged rape.

Pound added that he has not seen the recording of the video call, which is “simply based on the combined assessment of the three IOC members present on the call.”

Peng was on the call of a Chinese sports official who had previously served as Communist Party Secretary of the China Tennis Administration Center.

The pound also denied that there is any potential conflict of interest between the IOC and the Chinese government when the Beijing Winter Olympics will begin in February.

“We don’t really have a connection with the Chinese government,” Mr Pound said.

“We’ve been quite careful about organizing the Olympics. This is not a government-run Olympics. It’s an IOC Games and there’s an organizing committee responsible for that.”

The WTA and the United Nations have called for a full investigation on her sexual assault allegation.

Peng has publicly accused former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her to have sex at his home, according to a screenshot of a deleted social media post Nov.

“The first thing you have to do is find out what she’s trying to accomplish with the post,” Pound said of Peng’s deleted social media post.

“Is it just to tell her story or does she want an investigation and [drop] What are the consequences if she can perform the coercion? “

Last weekend, some people connected to China’s state media and sports system tweeted photos and videos they said they would take Peng to dinner on Saturday and at a youth tennis event in Beijing on Sunday.

Throughout the videos, Peng says very little, but they can be seen smiling. CNN was unable to independently verify the video clips or confirm when they were filmed.

In this photo from China State Media, Peng can be said to have been seen at a youth tennis event in Beijing on Sunday.  CNN was unable to independently verify the authenticity or date of this image.
On Tuesday, of China The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the government hopes “malicious speculations” regarding Peng’s happiness and whereabouts will stop, adding that her case should not be politicized.

Chinese authorities have not acknowledged Peng’s allegations against Zhang, and there is no indication that an investigation is underway. It remains unclear whether Peng will report his allegations to the police.

Who is Zhang Gaoli?  The man at the center of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai's #MeToo accusations

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian reiterated that Peng’s allegations were not a diplomatic matter and declined to comment further. CNN has contacted the Information Office of the State Council of China, which handles press inquiries for the central government.

Zhang has remained tight-lipped and has not appeared in public since retiring in 2018, and there is no public information regarding his current whereabouts.

Before retiring as vice premier, Zhang was the head of the Chinese government’s working group for the Beijing Games. In this role, he inspected venues, visited athletes, announced official emblems and held meetings to coordinate preparations.

Zhang previously met Bach, the president of the IOC, who held a video call with Peng, where at least once, the two were photographed shaking hands in the Chinese capital in 2016.


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