Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai says she is safe in video call with IOC president | Tennis News – Times of India

BEIJING: Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai had a video call on Sunday with the president of the International Olympic Committee and informed him she was safe and effectively, the IOC mentioned in an announcement.
Photos and movies of Peng at a match in Beijing earlier on Sunday had executed little to dampen worldwide considerations, following a virtually three-week public absence after she alleged {that a} former senior Chinese official sexually assaulted her.
In an announcement, the IOC mentioned that at the beginning of the 30-minute call with its president Thomas Bach, Peng had thanked the IOC for its concern about her effectively-being.
“She explained that she is safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time,” the IOC’s assertion mentioned.
“That is why she prefers to spend her time with friends and family right now. Nevertheless, she will continue to be involved in tennis, the sport she loves so much.”
France’s international minister had earlier known as on the Chinese authorities to offer extra reassurance, echoing an announcement by the Women’s Tennis Association that the photographs had been “insufficient” proof.
“I’m expecting only one thing: that she speaks,” France’s Jean-Yves Le Drian informed LCI tv, including that there may very well be unspecified diplomatic penalties if China didn’t clear up the state of affairs. The United States and Britain had additionally known as for China to offer proof of Peng’s whereabouts.
Current and former tennis gamers, from Naomi Osaka to Serena Williams to Billie Jean King had joined the calls searching for to substantiate she was safe, utilizing the social media hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai?

The concern over Peng got here as world rights teams and others have known as for a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February over China’s human rights file.
On Nov. 2, Peng posted on Chinese social media that former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli had sexually assaulted her a number of years in the past.
Neither Zhang nor the Chinese authorities have commented on her allegation. Peng’s social media put up was rapidly deleted and the subject has been blocked from dialogue on China’s closely censored web.
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state-backed Global Times, posted a 25-second video on Twitter on Sunday that confirmed her smiling, waving and autographing large tennis balls for kids on the Fila Kids Junior Tennis Challenger Finals match. The Global Times is revealed by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party.

The tennis occasion’s official WeChat web page exhibits pictures of her on the match. Peng, 35, was the world No.1 doubles participant in 2014, the primary Chinese participant to attain a prime rating, after profitable the doubles titles at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014.
On Saturday night time, Peng visited a preferred restaurant in downtown Beijing, in keeping with a video posted by Hu {that a} restaurant supervisor confirmed to Reuters on Sunday.

Seven individuals together with Peng had been on the Sichuanese restaurant, mentioned the supervisor, Zhou Hongmei, including that they ate in a non-public room and had been joined by the restaurant’s proprietor.
“It was crowded at the restaurant as usual,” Zhou mentioned, exhibiting a invoice that included noodles and bamboo shoots. “They didn’t have much. I think they mostly chatted.”
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), which has threatened to drag tournaments out of China, mentioned the pictures and video had been “insufficient” and didn’t deal with the WTA’s considerations, a spokesperson for the group informed Reuters by e mail.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) mentioned it will proceed to hunt affirmation from Peng that she was safe.
Chinese state media outlet CGTN on Wednesday launched what it mentioned was an e mail Peng had despatched to the WTA’s chairman denying her was sexually assaulted.
Chairman Steve Simon mentioned he had a tough time believing that Peng herself had written the e-mail.

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