"We share the same concern as many other people and organizations about the well-being and safety of Peng Shuai," but "we have taken a very human and people-centered approach," argued in a statement. the Olympic body, which has not made public any recording or image of this interview.

If the boss of the Olympism Thomas Bach had obtained ten days ago the first contact of a foreign interlocutor with the player, it is "an IOC team" which led this second videoconference "of half an hour ", during which the player" appeared to be safe and doing well, given the difficult situation in which she finds herself ".

"We offered her a very broad support, we will remain in regular contact with her, and have already fixed a personal meeting in January" - envisaged during the first interview with Thomas Bach, specifies the organization based in Lausanne.

As in its previous press releases on the subject, the IOC made no allusion to the accusations of sexual assault formulated in early November by Peng Shuai against a former senior Chinese leader, did not ask for clarification on this point or guaranteed full freedom of movement for the player.

This discretion, widely perceived as a desire to spare the host of the next Beijing Winter Games (February 4-20, 2022), contrasts with the virulent positions taken by many tennis stars and the decision announced Wednesday by the WTA, which manages the women's tennis circuit, to suspend its tournaments in China.

"There are different ways to ensure his well-being and security. We have adopted a very human and person-centered approach to approaching his situation," said the IOC, defending itself from direct contact with the Chinese authorities. : "As this is a three-time participant in the Games, the IOC is addressing these concerns directly with Chinese sports organizations".

"We use" quiet diplomacy "which, given the circumstances and the experience of governments and other organizations, is seen as the most promising way to act effectively in this type of humanitarian affairs," he said. pleaded the organization.

© 2021 AFP