Peng Shuai: IOC accused of showing ‘complete disregard’ to sexual assault allegations

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Peng Shuai serving during a match at the Australian Open on January 15, 2019 (REUTERS)
Peng Shuai serving during a match at the Australian Open on January 15, 2019 (REUTERS)

The IOC has been accused of showing a “complete disregard” to the sexual assault allegations by Peng Shuai after a video conference with president Thomas Bach.

The IOC said Peng was “safe and well living at her home in Beijing” and had asked to have her privacy respected.

But athlete body Global Athlete said: “The IOC showed a complete disregard for allegations of sexual violence and abuse against athletes.

“By taking a nonchalant approach to Peng Shuai’s disappearance and by refusing to mention her serious allegations of sexual assault, IOC president Thomas Bach and the IOC Athletes’ Commission demonstrate an abhorrent indifference towards sexual violence and the wellbeing of female athletes.”

Peng had made the sexual assault allegations against former Chinese vice-premier Zhang Gaoli and, while the WTA welcomed her on-screen appearance, it said it was still worried.

A WTA spokersperson said: “It was good to see Peng Shuai in recent videos but they don’t alleviate or address the WTA’s concern about her wellbeing and ability to communicate without censorship or coercion.

“This video does not change our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation without censorship into her allegation of sexual assault, which is the issue that gave rise to our initial concern.”

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