IOC member Dick Pound ‘shocked’ by Peng Shuai video call response

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The video call comes after Peng, one of China’s most recognizable sports stars, was publicly accused of Former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaolik For forcing her to have sex at his home, according to a screenshot deleted after a social media post dated November 2.
After the allegation, peng Disappearing from public view, prompting several fellow tennis players to express concern on social media using the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai,

The IOC has not made the video publicly available and has not explained how the call was conducted. Instead it released an image of the call and a statement that said Peng is “safe and well, staying at her home in Beijing, but wishes to respect her privacy at this time.”

Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch’s China director Sophie Richardson condemned the IOC’s role in cooperating with Chinese authorities on Peng’s reappearance, while the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) chief Steve Simon said that The IOC’s intervention is insufficient to address concerns about Peng. the protection.

“I must say I’m really surprised by its evaluation,” Pound told CNN’s Kristian Amanpour in response to the criticism.

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

“Only the IOC was able to do that, and there were conversations by video with Thomas Bach, who is an older Olympian, and two younger female IOC members. Nobody released the video because I think that aspect of it. was private.

“They found him in good health and in good spirits and they didn’t see imprisonment or anything like that.”

Pound said he had not seen the recording of the video call, but was “relying only on the joint decision of the three IOC members who were on the call.”

Peng joined at the call of a Chinese sports official who previously served as Communist Party secretary of the Chinese Tennis Administration Center.

Pound also denied that there is a potential conflict of interest between the IOC and the Chinese government with the Beijing Winter Olympics starting in February.

“We don’t really have a relationship with the Chinese government,” Pound said.

“We are very careful about dividing the organization of the Olympics. These are not official games. These are IOC games, and there is an organizing committee responsible for that.”

WTA and United Nations demand full investigation on allegations of sexual assault.

Peng publicly accused former Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli of forcing them to have sex at his home, according to a screenshot deleted from a November 2 social media post.

Regarding Peng’s deleted social media post, Pound said, “You first have to figure out what she was trying to achieve with the post.”

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

Last weekend, many people associated with the Chinese state media and sports system Tweeted photos and videos They say show Peng for dinner on Saturday and at a tennis event for teenagers in Beijing on Sunday.

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

In this still from Chinese state media, Peng can be seen purportedly at a tennis event for teenagers in Beijing on Sunday.  CNN cannot independently confirm the authenticity of this image or the date of the shot.
China on Tuesday foreign ministry said That the government hopes to stop “malicious speculation” about Peng’s well-being and whereabouts, adding that his case should not be politicised.

Chinese officials have not acknowledged Peng’s allegations against Zhang, and there is no indication that an investigation is underway. It is not clear whether Peng has reported his allegations to the police.

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

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

Before retiring as Vice Premier, Zhang was the head of the Chinese government’s working group for the Beijing Games. In his role he inspected site construction sites, visited athletes, unveiled official emblems and held meetings to coordinate preparatory work.

Zhang met IOC President Bach, who had video calls with Peng at least once, with the two being photographed together in the Chinese capital in 2016.

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