IOC president will meet Peng Shuai to assess her 'well-being'

IOC president will meet Peng Shuai at Beijing Olympics to assess her ‘well-being and state of mind’ after the tennis player ‘disappeared’ when she accused senior politician of rape

  • Thomas Bach will meet Ms Shuai inside the ‘closed loop’ of the Beijing Olympics   
  • She alleged online that former vice premier Zhang Gaoli sexually assaulted her 
  • But she said last month that she didn’t accuse him and post was misunderstood
  • Bach said if she wants allegations to be investigated the IOC would support her

The president of the International Olympic Committee will meet Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai to assess her ‘well-being and state of mind’ after she accused a senior politician of rape. 

Thomas Bach will meet Ms Shuai inside the ‘closed loop’ of the Beijing Olympics today to discuss her disappearance after she alleged on social media that former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli had sexually assaulted her.  

The closed loop is a zone all Games participants are restricted to in order to avoid spreading the coronavirus infection in Beijing. The Games officially open on Friday.

Thomas Bach will meet Ms Shuai (pictured) inside the ‘closed loop’ of the Beijing Olympics today to discuss her disappearance after she alleged on social media that former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli had sexually assaulted her

Peng said last month she had never accused anyone of sexually assaulting her and that the post she made had been misunderstood. Zhang (pictured) has not commented on the matter

‘She will enter the closed loop in order to have this meeting because she wanted this,’ Bach told a news conference. ‘Once all procedures have finished then we will have our meeting.’

He did not give a date for the meeting. People from within China entering the closed loop need to provide two negative coronavirus tests.

Peng said last month she had never accused anyone of sexually assaulting her and that the post she made had been misunderstood. Zhang has not commented on the matter.

The IOC has held several video calls with Peng but wanted a face-to-face meeting during the February Games.

The IOC has held several video calls with Peng but wanted a face-to-face meeting during the February Games

‘We know from her explanations … that she is living in Beijing, that she can move freely, spending time with family and friends,’ Bach said.

‘Now we will be able to do the next step in a personal meeting to convince us in person of her well-being and state of mind.’

Bach said if Peng wanted her allegations to be investigated the IOC would support her.

‘If she wants to have an inquiry we would also support her in this. But it’s her life, it’s her allegations,’ Bach said. 

Bach (pictured) said if Peng wanted her allegations to be investigated the IOC would support her

‘We will know more about her physical integrity and mental state when we meet her in person.’

The IOC has talked to Peng by phone recently but international concerns over her safety and well-being have not been allayed.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has suspended tournaments in China due to its concerns over Peng’s safety.

China has not directly commented on Peng’s initial post but said after the WTA’s move that it ‘opposes the politicisation of sports’.

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