November 30, 2021

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Tennis – WTA – Peng Shuai reappears, chatting with IOC via video

IOC President Thomas Bach discussed via video conference “Thirty minutes” With Peng Shuai on Sunday, the Olympic organization said in a statement. As the Olympic Committee has clarified “He explained that his home in Beijing was safe and healthy but that he wanted his privacy to be respected.” During the invitation, Emma Derho, chair of the Athletics Commission, and Chinese Lee Lingwe, a member of the Olympic Committee, were also present. The Olympic organization congratulates the 35-year-old athlete and former world No. 1 athlete in the doubles category and the star athlete in his country. “Spending time with friends and family”.

This is the first direct exchange between the player and officials outside China since the affair broke down in early November, following a news release on the Weibo social network on November 2 – a precedent. Shortly before he was repressed by Chinese authorities, he accused former Chinese top leader Zhang Gauli, 40 years his senior, of forcible sexual intercourse.

Peng Shuai at the Australian Open 2020

Thanks: Getty Images

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Appeared in a match in Beijing

A few hours ago on Sunday, Peng Shuai appeared in public – for the first time since the allegations – at a tennis match in Beijing, where official photos of the event were shown. Wearing a navy sports jacket and white sweatpants, Peng Shuai Fila appears in photos of the Kids Junior Tennis Challenger final, which was released on the official China Open Weibo account. Following the global outcry, including from tennis stars and the United Nations, the Chinese state media released footage claiming that everything was fine with the athlete.

A video of the event, posted on Twitter by Hu Jin, an influential editor of the Global Times, shows Peng standing in the middle of a group of guests whose names are announced to applause. Another video tweeted by a Global Times reporter was signed at the same venue before Peng posed for photos with children. Mr. who claims to be in a certain proximity to power. Hu released two videos of the player on Saturday evening. “Dinner with his trainer and friends at a restaurant” Tours in Beijing and on the same day, he said.

AFP could not confirm the location or location of the footage. Also Hu Xijin did not make any reference in Chinese on his Weibo account. In the pictures, Peng Shuai is surrounded by two women who share food and wine in a quiet place. A man sitting facing the player and having a conversation “Matches”. “Tomorrow is November 20” (Saturday), before being interrupted by one of the guests, he said: “This is 21” (Tomorrow is Sunday). An unidentified person filmed the evening on his cell phone, which appears to have been staged. Peng Shuai seems relaxed.

Not enough

The #MeToo movement had never reached the top of the ruling Communist Party in China before the release of Peng Shuai. It was soon removed from the Weibo operating system and concerns about its security have increased since then. In a statement released Saturday, WTA President Steve Simon found the sighting of an athlete “positive,” but “Video alone is not enough” Show that she is “Free from his decisions and actions”, He estimated. The WTA has threatened to terminate lucrative deals with China if it does not ask for Peng’s security.

Already on Wednesday, Chinese public television CGTN sowed the seeds by revealing a screen shot of an alleged email to Peng Shuai. The foreign-targeted channel later claimed that the Chinese player had personally sent it to the WTA management, which manages professional women’s tennis rounds. Four recent snapshots of the tennis champion were later released by the Twitter account @shen_shiwei. “Media affiliated with the Chinese government” Through social networking.

China’s silence

AFP could not independently establish when these photos were taken and requests for an account author’s explanation were not answered. The Chinese government has repeatedly refused to comment. Discussions about fees are blocked on the tightly controlled Chinese Internet. Peng wants to know where and how the growing number of voices in the game world and beyond are. The UK on Saturday urged China to “urgently provide verifiable evidence of its security and location”, as France did on Sunday.

The UN has also asked for evidence that he is well, as many countries have said, including the United States “Related”, The hashtag #WhereisPengShuai (#WhereestPengShuai) spread like wildfire on social media. Tennis celebrities such as Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka spoke on the issue.

Peng Shuai

Thanks: Getty Images

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