Peng Shuai’s explanation: video call between the International Olympic Committee and Chinese tennis stars

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai It has not been in public for 18 days. This happened after she accused a former Chinese Communist Party leader of sexual assault on November 2. This has aroused great concern about her whereabouts in the WTA and tennis circles.

The former French Open and Wimbledon doubles champion claimed that the retired Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli forced her to have sex in a deleted online post posted on the Chinese social media site Weibo three years ago. Since then, except for a strictly censored video posted by Chinese state media in a restaurant in Beijing, and a video call with the president of the International Olympic Committee on Sunday, Peng has not appeared in public.

this WTA Actively pressure China to confirm Peng’s safety and investigate her allegations, even threatening to withdraw its lucrative business from China if these actions are not taken. The White House and the United Nations also defended Peng, demanding an investigation into her allegations and disappearance.

Peng’s tennis peers also support Novak Djokovic Called her disappearance “shocking” and Chris Evert Describe the whole situation as “disturbing”. Billy Jane King Wrote that she hopes Peng Neng, the former No. 1 in the world, is safe Alice Connet Added “Let’s not keep silent” with the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai.

Naomi Osaka, the most outstanding female tennis player on earth, Tweet She is “shocked by the current situation” and is “passing on love and lighting her way.”

Long before Osaka, Serena Williams, the outstanding force of the sport, shared the same picture of Peng with the same emotion.

The following is a chronological view of how Peng’s entire situation unfolded, starting with the latest update:

November 21: The International Olympic Committee and Peng have a video call

The International Olympic Committee announced on Sunday The President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach had a video call with Peng, and she claimed to be safe. According to the statement of the International Olympic Committee, the Chinese sports official Li Lingwei and the chairman of the Athletes Committee Emma Teho accompanied the two on the phone.

According to the statement, Peng thanked the committee for its attention to her health and insisted that her home in Beijing is safe and sound, but she “wishes to respect her privacy at this time. This is why she prefers to spend time with friends and family immediately. ”

“I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing well. This is our biggest concern,” Terho wrote in a statement. “She seemed relaxed. I provided her with support and kept in touch at her convenience. She was obviously grateful.”

The International Olympic Committee also claimed that Peng accepted an invitation to dinner with Bach, Terho and Lee in January. The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing.

November 20: Chinese state media releases the first footage of Peng’s disappearance

Chinese state media shared a video of Peng dining in Beijing. The day before, it claimed that the tennis star had shared three photos on the Chinese social media platform WeChat. Hu Xijin, editor of the Global Times who posted the video on Twitter, said that the dinner took place on Saturday and included Peng’s friends and coach.

The video is after Xijin Tweet Peng stayed at home “freely” on Friday and “will participate in some activities soon.”

Although WTA CEO Steve Simon stated that seeing Peng in the video was a “positive” development, he called the evidence “insufficient” and was still “worried about Peng Shuai’s health and safety, and that allegations of sexual assault were ongoing. Examine and sweep the “carpet.” “

“It is not clear whether she has freedom and whether she can make decisions and take actions on her own without coercion or external interference,” Simon said.

According to Sky News’ translation, the people who dine with Peng mentioned the date and her recent performance many times. Peng himself did not speak in the video.

November 19: The White House and the United Nations call for investigation of Peng Shuai’s situation

The White House broke its silence on Peng’s situation by demanding proof of her safety and condemning China’s censorship system. Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that the White House is “deeply concerned” about the tennis star’s disappearance and is seeking “independent and verifiable evidence” to prove her location and condition.

A day ago, US President Joe Biden said he was “considering” Diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics In Beijing because the country deals with human rights issues.

“First, any reports of sexual assault should be investigated. We support women’s ability to speak out and hold accountable at home or around the world. Second, we will continue to defend freedom of speech. We know that the People’s Republic of China has zero tolerance for criticism and has We will continue to condemn these practices for the records that have silenced those who speak up.”

The United Nations joined the White House’s defense of Peng, and the spokesperson of the United Nations Human Rights Office Liz Srossell called for a “completely transparent” investigation.

“What we are saying is that it is important to prove her whereabouts and health, and we will urge a fully transparent investigation of her allegations of sexual assault,” Throssell said.

November 19: China says it “doesn’t know” the situation involving Shuai

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that they According to the Associated Press, “I don’t know” the situation around Peng ShuaiThe spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zhao Lijian told the media that the matter was “not a diplomatic issue” and added that he “does not understand the situation”.

On the other hand, Liz Throssell, spokesperson for the UN Office of Human Rights in Geneva, said that this situation requires “a fully transparent investigation of her allegations of sexual assault.”

As of Friday, the International Olympic Committee declined to comment on the matter.

November 18: Simon, WTA threatens to boost Chinese business

If Peng’s safety is not confirmed and her allegations are investigated, Simon threatens to withdraw WTA’s business from China, where his organization has been expanding in the past few years.

“We are absolutely willing to withdraw from our business and deal with all the complications that come with it,” Simon told CNN“Because it’s for sure, it’s bigger than business.”

“Women need to be respected, not censored,” he added.

In 2019 alone, China hosted 19 WTA tournaments with a total prize money of 30.4 million U.S. dollars. Shenzhen will host the WTA finals from 2022 to 2030 after the first WTA finals in 2019. The prize money for the 2019 finals is US$14 million.

November 17: WTA questioned the legitimacy of Peng Shuai’s statement

An email sent by Peng allegedly on Wednesday claimed that the WTA had not obtained her consent or verification before issuing the statement. This is the first public comment made by Ms. Peng since the allegations, but some people, including the WTA, have doubts about the legality of the statement.

“The news in this press release, including allegations of sexual assault, are untrue,” read the email posted on Twitter by China’s state media China Global Television Network. “I am not missing, nor insecure. I am just resting at home and everything is fine.”

Simon then publicly questioned whether Peng had been coerced to write.

“The statement about Peng Shuai issued by the Chinese official media today only made me worry about her safety and whereabouts.” Simon wrote“Peng Shuai must be allowed to speak freely, free from intimidation and intimidation from any source.”

Since posting on social media on November 2, Peng has not yet appeared.

November 15: China remains silent on Peng Shuai’s allegations and disappearance

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Zhao Lijian Said When asked about Peng’s allegations, “this is not a diplomatic issue” and added that he “has not heard of this issue”. 13 days after the publication of Peng Fa’s article, the state has not yet acknowledged this.

November 14: WTA CEO calls for investigation into situation

WTA CEO Steve Simon called for “Comprehensive, Fair and Transparent” survey Peng’s allegations were investigated in a statement. At that time, no one had seen or heard about Peng for 12 days, which prompted the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai to spread on social media.

“Obviously, she showed great courage in public,” Simon told the New York Times“Now we want to make sure that we are moving to a place where a comprehensive and transparent investigation is conducted. I think everything else is an insult not only to our players but to all women.”

Simon threatened that if China failed to properly investigate Peng’s allegations, WTA’s business would be withdrawn from China. China currently holds 11 WTA Championships and Tour Finals in Shenzhen.

Although Simon could not directly confirm Peng’s whereabouts or condition, he told the New York Times that several sources, including the Chinese Tennis Association, told him that she was “safe and not subjected to any personal threats.” Simon’s “understanding” is that she is in Beijing.

November 2nd: Peng Shuai files allegations of sexual assault against Zhang

In a 1,600-word post to Weibo, Peng accused the 75-year-old Zhang-the former leader of the Communist Party of China- Forced her to have sex about three years agoPeng, 35, claimed that the attack occurred after Zhang invited her to play tennis with him and his wife at home, but she admitted that she had no evidence.

“I was scared that afternoon,” Peng wrote, claiming that a guard stood guarding the door when the attack occurred. “I never agree, I keep crying.”

Peng said that she and Zhang met during their tenure as secretary of the Tianjin Municipal Party Committee from 2007 to 2012, and Zhang forced her to have sex after he stepped down as Vice Premier of China in 2017.

“I know that for people like Zhang Gaoli, you say you are not afraid,” Peng wrote. “But, even if I throw an egg on a stone, or I destroy myself like a moth, I will tell the truth.”

The post was deleted within 30 minutes, and Chinese censors blocked search terms such as Peng’s name.

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