Olympic officials: Chinese tennis star Peng says she is safe

Olympic officials: Chinese tennis star Peng says she is safe

Peng “thanks the IOC for its concern for her well-being,” the Switzerland-based Olympic body said in a statement.

She explained that she lives safe and sound in her home in Beijing, but at this point she would like her privacy to be respected. That is why she now prefers to spend her time with friends and family,” the statement said.

Peng, who played for three Olympic Games for China from 2008 to 2016, made charges of sexual assault on Chinese social media against Zhang Gaoli, a former member of the ruling Communist Party’s Standing Committee.

That post was removed within minutes and the former top doubles player disappeared from public view. She did not respond publicly to calls for information to show she was safe.

Peng adds to a growing number of Chinese businessmen, activists and ordinary people which have disappeared in recent years following criticism of party figures or crackdowns on corruption or campaigns for democracy and labor rights.

Some reappear weeks or months later without explanation, suggesting they are being warned not to disclose their detention or the reason.

Bach, the IOC president, has invited Peng to dinner when he arrives in Beijing in January “which she gladly accepted,” the IOC said on Sunday. Terho and Li were also invited.

“I was relieved to see Peng Shuai doing well, which was our main concern,” Terho said in the IOC statement. The hockey player from Finland represents athletes on the board of directors of the IOC.

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