Register now for FREE and unlimited access to reuters.com
BERLIN, Nov. 20 (Reuters) – The International Olympic Committee‘s Athletes’ Commission said on Saturday it was “very worried” about Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai and hoped contacts with her and other athletes could be soon. established.
Former world number one double Peng has not been seen or heard from publicly since she said on Chinese social media on November 2 that former vice premier Zhang Gaoli had forced her into dating sexual intercourse and subsequently had an intermittent consensual relationship.
“Along with the global athlete community, the IOC Athletes’ Commission is very concerned about the plight of three-time Olympian Peng Shuai,” the commission, made up of athletes elected by their peers, said in a statement.
A two-time Grand Slam winner in doubles and former world number one in doubles, Peng represented China at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Olympics in February.
“We support the low-key diplomatic approach that is adopted and hope that it will lead to the publication of information about Peng Shuai’s fate and the confirmation of his safety and well-being,” he said. .
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has threatened to withdraw tournaments from China, and the men’s ATP has sought clarification from Chinese authorities. The United States has requested evidence of Peng’s whereabouts and his safety.
The International Olympic Committee only said it believed “quiet diplomacy” offered the best opportunity for a solution.
Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin, a prominent state media reporter, said earlier on Saturday that Peng was staying at home “freely” and would make a public appearance “soon.” Read more
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Hugh Lawson
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.