Peng Shuai: IOC member Dick Pound ‘puzzled’ by reaction to tennis player’s video call

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The video call comes after Peng, one in all China’s most recognizable sports activities stars, publicly accused former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into intercourse at his dwelling, in accordance to screenshots of a since-deleted social media put up dated November 2.
Following the accusation, Peng disappeared from public view, prompting a number of fellow tennis gamers to specific fear on social media, utilizing the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai.

The IOC has not made the video publicly accessible and didn’t clarify how the call was organized. It as an alternative launched a picture of the call and an announcement saying Peng is “safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time.”

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Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch China Director Sophie Richardson denounced the IOC’s position in collaborating with Chinese authorities on Peng’s reappearance, whereas the top of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Steve Simon, mentioned the IOC’s intervention is inadequate to allay issues about Peng’s security.

“I must say I’m really puzzled by that assessment of it,” Pound informed CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in response to the criticism.
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“Basically, a lot of folks around the globe have been trying to see what occurred to Peng Shuai and no one was ready to set up contact.

“Only the IOC was ready to achieve this, and there was a dialog that was held by video with Thomas Bach, who’s an older Olympian, and two youthful feminine IOC members. Nobody’s launched the video as a result of I assume that side of it was personal.

“They found her in good health and in good spirits and they saw no evidence of confinement or anything like that.”

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Peng has not been directly seen in public since the accusation of sexual coercion.

Pound added that he has not seen a recording of the video call, however is “simply relying on the combined judgment of the three IOC members who were on the call.”

Peng was joined on the call by a Chinese sports activities official who previously served because the Communist Party secretary of the Chinese Tennis Administration Center.

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Pound additionally denied that there’s any potential battle of curiosity between the IOC and the Chinese authorities with the Beijing Winter Olympics set to start in February.

“We don’t really have links with the Chinese government,” mentioned Pound.

“We’re pretty careful about compartmentalizing the organization of the Olympics. These are not government Games. These are IOC Games, and there’s an organizing committee that is responsible for that.”

The WTA and the United Nations have referred to as for a full investigation into her allegations of sexual assault.

Peng publicly accused China's former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into sex at his home, according to screenshots of a since-deleted social media post dated November 2.

“The first thing you have to do is figure out what was she trying to accomplish with the post,” Pound mentioned of Peng’s deleted social media put up.

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“Was it just to tell her story or did she want an investigation and [drop] consequences if she was able to establish the coercion?”

Last weekend, a number of folks linked to Chinese state media and sport system tweeted photographs and movies they are saying present Peng out to dinner on Saturday and at a tennis occasion for youngsters in Beijing on Sunday.

Throughout the movies Peng says little or no however is seen smiling. CNN can’t independently confirm the video clips or verify after they have been filmed.

In this still from Chinese State Media, Peng can allegedly be seen at a tennis event for teenagers in Beijing on Sunday. CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity  or shot date of this image.
On Tuesday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs mentioned that the federal government hoped “malicious speculation” relating to Peng’s well-being and whereabouts would cease, including that her case shouldn’t be politicized.

Chinese authorities haven’t acknowledged Peng’s allegations in opposition to Zhang, and there’s no indication an investigation is underway. It stays unclear if Peng has reported her allegations to the police.

Who is Zhang Gaoli? The man at the center of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai's #MeToo allegation

Speaking at a information convention on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian reiterated that Peng’s accusation shouldn’t be a diplomatic problem and declined to remark additional. CNN has reached out to China’s State Council Information Office, which handles press inquiries for the central authorities.

Zhang has saved a low profile and light from public life since his retirement in 2018, and there’s no public data relating to his present whereabouts.

Before retiring as vice premier, Zhang was the top of a Chinese authorities working group for the Beijing Games. In the position he inspected venues, visited athletes, unveiled official emblems, and held conferences to coordinate preparation work.

Zhang beforehand met with Bach, the IOC president who held a video call with Peng, on at the least one event, with the 2 being photographed collectively shaking fingers within the Chinese capital in 2016.

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