Peng Shuai: Dick Pound, IOC Member, “Puzzled” By Reaction To Tennis Player Video Call

The video call comes after Peng, one of China’s most recognizable sports stars, publicly accused former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her to have sex at his home, according to reports. screenshots of a social media post deleted since November 2.
Following the accusation, Peng disappeared from public view, prompting several other tennis players to voice their concern on social media, using the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai.

The IOC did not make the video accessible to the public and did not explain how the call was organized. Instead, he released an image of the call and a statement saying that Peng is “safe and healthy, living at her home in Beijing, but would like her privacy to be respected at this time.”

Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch China director Sophie Richardson denounced the IOC’s role in working with Chinese authorities on Peng’s reappearance, while Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) president Steve Simon , said the IOC’s intervention was insufficient to allay security concerns.

“I have to say I’m really puzzled by this assessment,” Pound told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in response to criticism.

“Basically, a lot of people around the world were looking to see what happened to Peng Shuai and no one was able to make contact.

“Only the IOC was able to do that, and there was a video conversation that took place with Thomas Bach, who is an older Olympian, and two young female IOC members. No one released the video because I guess this aspect was private.

“They found her to be in good health and in good spirits and they saw no evidence of containment or anything like that.”

Peng has not been seen directly in public since the sexual coercion charge.

Pound added that he had not seen a recording of the video call, but “is simply relying on the combined judgment of the three IOC members who were on the call.”

Peng was joined on the roll call by a Chinese sports official who was previously secretary of the Communist Party of the Chinese Tennis Administration Center.

Pound also denied the existence of a possible conflict of interest between the IOC and the Chinese government, with the Beijing Winter Olympics set to begin in February.

“We don’t really have any ties to the Chinese government,” Pound said.

“We are quite cautious about the compartmentalization of the organization of the Olympic Games. They are not government Games. They are IOC Games, and there is an organizing committee responsible for them.”

WTA and United Nations urged full investigation in his allegations of sexual assault.

Peng has publicly accused former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her to have sex at his home, according to screenshots from a social media post deleted since November 2.

“The first thing you need to do is figure out what she was trying to accomplish with the post,” Pound said of Peng’s deleted social media post.

“Was it just to tell her story or did she want an investigation and [drop] consequences if it was able to establish coercion? “

Over the weekend, several people with links to Chinese state media and the sports system tweeted photos and videos that they said show Peng having dinner on Saturday and at a teen tennis event in Beijing. Sunday.

Throughout the videos, Peng says very little but he is seen smiling. CNN cannot independently verify video clips or confirm when they were filmed.

In this image from Chinese state media, Peng would be seen at a teen tennis event in Beijing on Sunday.  CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity or date this image was taken.
On Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry said the government hoped “malicious speculation” about Peng’s welfare and his whereabouts would cease, adding that his case should not be politicized.

Chinese authorities have not acknowledged Peng’s allegations against Zhang, and there is no indication that an investigation is ongoing. It is still unclear whether Peng reported his allegations to the police.

Who is Zhang Gaoli?  Man at the center of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai's #MeToo claim

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian reiterated that Peng’s accusation was not a diplomatic issue and declined to comment further. CNN has contacted the Information Office of the State Council of China, which handles press inquiries for the central government.

Zhang has kept a low profile and has withdrawn from public life since his retirement in 2018, and there is no public information regarding his current plight.

Before retiring as vice premier, Zhang was the head of a Chinese government task force for the Beijing Games. In this role, he inspected venues, visited athletes, unveiled official emblems and held meetings to coordinate preparation work.

Zhang had previously met Bach, the IOC president, who held a video call with Peng at least once, with the two pictured together shaking hands in the Chinese capital in 2016.

Add a Comment