Peng Shuai situation explained: International Olympic Committee holds video call with Chinese tennis star

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai hasn’t been seen in public for 18 days and counting. This follows she implicated a previous Chinese Communist celebration leader of sexual attack on Nov. 2. It has actually developed considerable issue within the WTA and tennis neighborhood over her location.

The previous French Open and Wimbledon doubles champ declared retired Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli required her into sex 3 years back in a since-deleted online post to the Chinese social-media website Weibo. Peng has actually not been seen in public given that, aside from a heavily-scrutinized video Chinese state media launched of her at a Beijing dining establishment on Saturday and a supposed video call with the president of the International Olympic Committee on Sunday.

The WTA has actively forced China into verifying Peng’s security and examining her claims, even threatening to pull its financially rewarding organization from the nation if those actions aren’t taken. The White House and United Nations likewise concerned Peng’s defense, as both required examinations into her claims and disappearance.

Peng’s tennis peers have actually been similarly helpful, with Novak Djokovic calling her disappearance “shocking” and Chris Evert explaining the whole circumstance as “disturbing.” Billie Jean King composed that she hopes Peng, a previous world No. 1, is discovered safe while Alize Cornet included “Let’s not remain silent” with the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai. 

The most popular ladies’s tennis gamer in the world, Naomi Osaka, tweeted that she is “in shock of the current situation” and is “sending love and light her way.” 

Serena Williams, the sport’s preeminent force long previously Osaka, shared the exact same image of Peng with a similarly worried belief. 

Here’s a sequential take a look at how the whole circumstance with Peng has actually unfolded, beginning with the current updates: 

Nov. 21: IOC holds video call with Peng

The International Olympic Committee revealed Sunday that IOC president Thomas Bach held a video call with Peng in which she declared to be safe. According to the IOC’s declaration, the 2 were accompanied on the call by Chinese sports authorities Li Lingwei along with Chair of the Athletes’ Commission Emma Terho.

According to that declaration, Peng thanked the committee for its issue about her wellness and firmly insisted that she was safe and well at her house in Beijing, however that she “like to have her privacy respected at this time. That is why she prefers to spend her time with friends and family right now.”

“I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing fine, which was our main concern,” checked out a declaration by Terho. “She appeared to be relaxed. I offered her our support and to stay in touch at any time of her convenience, which she obviously appreciated.”

The IOC likewise declared that Peng accepted an invite to supper with Bach, Terho, and Li in January. The 2022 Winter Olympics are to be kept in Beijing.

Nov. 20: Chinese state media launches very first video footage of Peng given that disappearance 

Chinese state media shared a video of Peng dining in Beijing, a day after it declared the tennis star shared 3 images on the Chinese social-media platform WeChat. Global Times editor Hu Xijin, who published the video on Twitter, stated the supper happened Saturday and consisted of Peng’s pals and coach. 

The video follows Xijin tweeted Peng was “freely” remaining at house and would “participate in some activities soon” on Friday.

While WTA CEO Steve Simon stated seeing Peng in the video was a “positive” advancement, he explained the proof as “insufficient” and stays “concerned about Peng Shuai’s health and safety, and that the allegation of sexual assault is being censored and swept under the rug.”

“It remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or external interference,” Simon stated. 

Per a Sky News translation, individuals dining with Peng made numerous referrals to the date and her current efficiencies. Peng did not speak in the video herself. 

Nov. 19: White House, UN require examination into Peng Shuai circumstance

The White House broke its silence on Peng’s circumstance by requiring evidence of her security and condemning China’s censorship. Press secretary Jen Psaki stated the White House is “deeply concerned” over the tennis star’s disappearance and looks for “independent and verifiable proof” of her place and condition.

A day prior, U.S. President Joe Biden stated he was “considering” a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing since of the nation’s handling of human rights concerns. 

“First, any report of sexual assault should be investigated, and we support a women’s ability to speak out and seek accountability whether here or around the world. Second, we will continue to stand up for the freedom of speech, and we know that the PRC has zero tolerance for criticism and a record of silencing those that speak out, and we continue to condemn those practices.” 

The United Nations signed up with the White House’s defense of Peng, with UN Human Rights Office representative Liz Throssell requiring an examination with “full transparency.” 

“What we would say is that it would be important to have proof of her whereabouts and wellbeing, and we would urge that there be an investigation with full transparency into her allegations of sexual assault,” Throssell stated. 

Nov. 19: China states it is ‘not mindful’ of circumstance including Shuai

China’s Foreign Ministry exposed that they weren’t “aware” of the circumstance surrounding Peng Shuai, according to the Associated Press. Ministry representative Zhao Lijian notified the media that the matter was “not a diplomatic question” and included that he is “not aware of the situation.”

Liz Throssell, a spokesperson for the United Nations human rights workplace in Geneva, on the other hand, stated that the circumstance required “an investigation with full transparency into her allegation of sexual assault.”

As of Friday, the International Olympic Committee decreased to talk about the matter.

Nov. 18: Simon, WTA threatens to pull Chinese organization

Simon doubled down on his hazard to pull the WTA’s organization from China, a nation his company has actually broadened in over the previous numerous years, if it would not verify Peng’s security and examine her claims.

“We’re definitely willing to pull our business and deal with all the complications that come with it,” Simon informed CNN. “Because this is certainly, this is bigger than the business.”

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

China hosted 19 WTA competitions in 2019 alone for an overall of $30.4 million cash prize. Shenzhen is slated to host the WTA Finals from 2022-2030 after doing so in 2019 for the very first time. The 2019 Finals had a $14 million reward bag. 

Nov. 17:  WTA concerns authenticity of Peng Shuai declaration

An e-mail apparently sent out from Peng on Wednesday declared the WTA did not get her permission or confirmation prior to launching its declaration. It was Peng’s initially public remarks given that her claims, however some, consisting of the WTA, had concerns concerning the authenticity of the declaration. 

“The news in that release, including the allegation of sexual assault, is not true,” the e-mail, which was tweeted out by China state-affiliated media China Global Television Network, check out. “I’m not missing, nor am I unsafe. I’ve just been resting at home and everything is fine.” 

Simon then honestly questioned whether Peng was pushed into composing it. 

“The statement released today by Chinese state media concerning Peng Shuai only raises my concerns as to her safety and whereabouts,” Simon composed. “Peng Shuai must be allowed to speak freely, without coercion or intimidation from any source.”

Peng has still yet to be seen given that her social networks post on Nov. 2. 

Nov. 15: China remains quiet on Peng Shuai’s claims, disappearance

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijan stated “this is not a diplomatic question” when inquired about Peng’s claims, including he had “not heard of the issue.” The nation, 13 days after Peng’s post, still has yet to acknowledge it. 

Nov. 14: WTA president requires examination into circumstance

Steve Simon, WTA’s president, asked for a “full, fair and transparent” examination into Peng’s claims in a declaration. At that point, nobody had actually seen or spoken with Peng for 12 days, triggering the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai to spread out throughout social networks. 

“Obviously she displayed tremendous courage going public,” Simon informed the New York Times. “Now we want to make sure we’re moving forward to a place where a full and transparent investigation is conducted. Anything else, I think, is an affront to not only our players but to all women.”

Simon threatened to pull the WTA’s organization from China if the nation stopped working to appropriately examine Peng’s claims. China presently hosts 11 WTA competitions and the trip finals in Shenzhen. 

While Simon could not straight verify Peng’s location or condition, he informed the Times that numerous sources — consisting of the Chinese Tennis Association — informed him that she’s “safe and not under any physical threat.” Simon’s “understanding” was that she remained in Beijing. 

Nov. 2: Peng Shuai makes sexual attack claims versus Zhang

In a 1,600-word post to Weibo, Peng implicated the 75-year-old Zhang — a previous leader within China’s Communist celebration — of pressing her into sex around 3 years back. Peng, 35, declared the attack happened after Zhang welcomed her to play tennis with him and his other half at their home, however she confessed she had no proof. 

“I was so scared that afternoon,” composed Peng, who declared a guard stood watch outside the door while the attack happened. “I never gave consent, crying the entire time.”

Peng stated she and Zhang ended up being familiarized with each other while the latter was functioning as Tianjin’s celebration manager from 2007-2012, and Zhang required her into sex after leaving his post as China’s vice premier in 2017. 

“I know that for someone of your stature, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, you have said that you are not afraid,” Peng composed. “But even if it is like throwing an egg against rock, or if I am like a moth drawn to the flame, inviting self-destruction, I will tell the truth about you.”

The post was erased within thirty minutes, and Chinese censors obstructed search terms such as Peng’s name.

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