Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai said she is safe in video call, says International Olympic Committee

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Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai said she is safe in video call, says International Olympic Committee

(CNN)International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach held a video phone call with three-time Olympian Peng Shuai, the Olympics governing body announced on Sunday, amid a wave of global concern about Peng’s wellbeing and whereabouts.

The two were accompanied on the video call by a Chinese sports official, Li Lingwei, as well as the Chair of the Athletes’ Commission, Emma Terho. The IOC did not provide CNN access to the video.
The video comes after Peng, one of China’s most recognizable sports stars, publicly accused 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.
She has not been directly seen in public since the accusation, prompting several fellow tennis players express worry on social media, using the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai.
The Women’s Tennis Association and the United Nations have called for an investigation into her allegations of sexual assault.
Steve Simon, the head of the WTA, has also called for more robust proof of Peng’s liberty, requesting on Friday that she either be allowed to leave the country or speak live via teleconference with him and no one else present.
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His demand came after several people connected to Chinese state media and sport system tweeted photos and videos they say show Peng out to dinner on Saturday. The clips, which appear to deliberately emphasize specific dates, could not be independently verified by CNN.
Though Simon expressed relief at seeing Peng in these clips, he said his concerns remained.
“It remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or external interference,” Simon said.



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