Although the International Olympic Committee reported that the Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai is well and that she participated in a video call with the president of the organization, the German Thomas Bach, in which she clarified her situation, the WTA continues to have doubts about the context related to the player. According to the entity that governs women’s tennis worldwide, there is no certainty that Peng is expressing herself freely and without being coerced.
The former world number one in doubles appeared in the last hours in a call with Bach, in which she assured that she was well at her home in Beijing and in which she asked that her privacy be respected. However, the WTA responded that the video “does not alleviate concerns for her well-being and for her ability to communicate without censorship and coercion.”
“This video does not change our request for a full, fair and transparent investigation into his allegations of sexual abuse,” expanded the WTA, posing a huge challenge to the authority of the IOC, which took for granted the veracity of what said by the tennis player in the video call with Bach.
Peng had been missing since last December 2, when she accused former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexually abusing her three years ago. Only the media related to the Chinese Government had shown images of the tennis player from that date, until this call with the IOC.
The WTA’s doubts parallel those of Yaqiu Wang, of Humans Right Watch, who considers that the conversation between Bach and Peng would have been carried out under “coercion”. “The IOC is being complicit in the propaganda machine and in a case of coercion and forced disappearance by the Chinese government,” the activist posted on her Twitter account.
No minor detail in the outcome of this story has to do with the great relationship that exists between the Olympic Committee and the Chinese Government from the organization of major events. China hosted the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and will repeat the experience between February 4 and 20, 2022 with the Winter Olympic Games, also in its capital city as the epicenter.
The Peng case broke out less than three months before the Games begin, which the United States “evaluates” to boycott at the diplomatic level for alleged human rights abuses by the Chinese government. China considers that such accusations are nothing more than a “smear campaign” and that “politicizing sport goes against the Olympic spirit,” Chinese government spokesman Zhao Lijian stressed on Monday when asked about this possible boycott. that, according to the British newspaper The Times, other countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand could also join.
For the Chinese government, the call between Bach and the tennis player is “enough” to clear up any doubts. “It is not a diplomatic matter,” they stressed from the Foreign Ministry, while spokesman Zhao stressed that “she has been seen recently” in response to questions from journalists.