Despite the bitter criticism of the International Olympic Committee in the Peng Shuai case, IOC boss Thomas Bach does not want to deviate from his line.
"From our point of view, silent diplomacy is a promising path that we will continue to pursue," said Bach in an interview with the German press agency.
The IOC had not named the tennis player's allegations against a top Chinese politician whom she had accused of sexual assault in its communications on the affair and had not made any public demands on China for clarification.
"I can assure you that all aspects of this case will be discussed with the Chinese side," said Bach now. The 67-year-old asserted: "Together with many athletes and people around the world, we shared the concern about Peng Shuai when she was not available for a long time." The 35-year-old published her allegations on the Weibo social network at the beginning of November. The post was deleted soon after. Since then, there have been great concerns about her well-being.
The women's tennis tour WTA suspended all tournaments in China for the time being because of the fall. “The WTA went its own way and made its decision. Many other sports organizations have chosen a different route. The paths can be different, but the goals can be the same, ”said Bach. The Würzburger assured that the IOC would try to get Peng Shuai beyond the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February. “We will continue this humanitarian approach and maintain contact. The Winter Games will not be an end point, ”said the IOC President.
Meanwhile, Bach does not want to intervene in the debate about a diplomatic boycott of the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. “This is a purely political discussion. The IOC is politically neutral on this issue too, ”he said. The US government has announced that it will not send diplomatic or official representatives to the Winter Games. The background is the "genocide" in the Xinjiang autonomous region and other human rights violations in China.
Other politicians of the new traffic light coalition in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung and the designated German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) had not ruled out such a step recently. Bach referred to the recent UN resolution on the declaration of the Olympic ceasefire. "The games have the mission, no matter where they take place, to unite the world in sporting and peaceful competition - and to place it above all other disputes," said the 67-year-old.
Sport should serve as an "instrument to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation in conflict areas".
“This mission is more important than ever at a time that is so fragile and confrontational,” emphasized Bach.
However, the IOC cannot resolve major political conflicts with the Olympic Games.
This is an exaggerated expectation.
“The IOC does not have the power or the means to change political systems.
The political neutrality of the IOC and the Games applies here, ”said Bach.Keywords: