The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it had spoken to Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai again on Wednesday, and responded to accusations of appeasement with China on Thursday.
"We share the same concern as many other people and organizations about the well-being and safety of Peng Shuai", pleads in a statement the Olympic body, which did not make public record or d image of this interview.
The boss of the Olympism Thomas Bach had obtained 10 days ago the first contact of a foreign interlocutor with the player.
It was “an IOC team” which led this second “half-hour” videoconference, during which the player “seemed to be safe and fine, given the difficult situation in which she finds herself”.
IOC Statement on the situation of Peng Shuaihttps: //t.co/7wDhc0w33f
- IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) December 2, 2021
"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 reference to accusations of sexual assault made in early November by Peng Shuai against a former Chinese leader.
He did not ask for any clarification on this point or a guarantee on the full freedom of movement of the player.
"A very human and person-centered approach"
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 their well-being and safety.
We have adopted a very human and person-centered approach to approaching her situation ", the IOC is justified, also defending itself from direct contact with the Chinese authorities:" as it is a triple participant in the Games, the CIO 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 considered the most promising way to act effectively in this type of humanitarian affairs," pleaded the organization.
Peng Shuai case: WTA accused by China of "politicization of sport" but supported by tennis stars
Peng Shuai case: WTA suspends tournaments in China, whatever the cost
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A fault ?