Olympic Athletes’ Commission calls for “quiet diplomacy” against Peng Shuai

Many tennis figures have expressed concern over the situation surrounding Peng Shuai.© AFP

The International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission on Saturday pleaded for “quiet diplomacy” to resolve the issue of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who has not been seen in public since the allegations against a former vice-premier Minister. Peng’s claim that she was forced to have sex during an intermittent relationship spanning several years was quickly removed from social media. As tennis authorities, as well as the United Nations, have challenged Chinese authorities to provide compelling evidence of Peng’s fate, the commission, which represents athletes in the IOC, struck a chord.

“Along with the global athlete community, the IOC IOC is very concerned about the situation of three-time Olympian Peng Shuai,” former Finnish ice hockey player Emma Terho, president of the Athletes’ Commission, tweeted on Saturday.

“We support the low-key diplomatic approach that is being taken 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.”

Two-time Olympic bronze medalist Terho also hoped “a way can be found for direct engagement between her (Peng) and her fellow athletes.”

The statement underscores the gentle and gentle approach taken by the IOC on Thursday, anxious to offend China just three months before Beijing hosts the Winter Olympics.


In a brief statement on Saturday, a spokesperson for the Olympic body acknowledged “the concerns expressed by so many athletes and national Olympic committees” but insisted he would continue his “quiet diplomacy”.

“This approach means that we will continue our open dialogue at all levels with the Olympic Movement in China,” said the IOC statement.

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Naomi C. Amerson