Peng Shuai meets IOC President in Beijing amidst growing concerns about her safety

Chinese star Peng Shuai meets in person with the IOC president, following growing concerns about her safety.

Thomas Bach and Peng Shuai
Thomas Bach, (President of the IOC), Peng Shuai

IOC has recently released a statement saying their scheduled meeting with Peng Shuai with IOC President, Thomas Bach, went as planned on Saturday.

The Chinese star grabbed the headlines globally last year when she accused a top-ranked official of the ruling CCP (Chinese Communist Party) of sexual assault. Peng was not seen in public view for the next few weeks. After three weeks of radio silence, Peng mysteriously came out saying she never leveled any allegations against anyone and her post was misinterpreted and also replied she is safe.

Despite Peng assuring she is safe in China, many fans were concerned about her whereabouts and questioned the legitimacy of her safety, which was assured by China.

IOC President meets Peng Shuai

Peng Shuai
Peng Shuai

IOC president Thomas Bach held an in-person meeting with Peng Shuai, with former Chair of the Athletes’ Commission and IOC member Kirsty Coventry also in attendance. During the meeting, Peng expressed her disappointment for not qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics last year and also stated her desire to travel to Europe, when the pandemic is over.

Kirsty Coventry and Peng agreed to be in contact and the discretion about their next meeting are up to the Chinese, revealing the contents of their future meeting is up to her. Bach also invited Peng to visit the IOC museum in Lausanne, which she accepted duly.

IOC faced international backlash last year for not properly assuring Peng’s safety as her only known international contacts have been with the IOC, and the faced increased call to boycott the Winter Olympics being held in China, because of concerns related to their human rights record and also their treatment towards Peng Shuai. IOC had a video call with Peng last year as well, but they didn’t provide any transcripts or video evidence of their meeting, which added further questions to already long-standing concerns about her safety and freedom.

This latest meeting with Peng seems to be another diplomatic move to calm the growing concerns about the ongoing Beijing Olympics, which faced a diplomatic boycott from many countries including the USA. Even during their brief meeting with Peng, there was no mention of the sexual assault allegations she made or her disappearance last year.

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