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Tennis WTA says Chinese tennis star’s call with Olympic chief is not enough

SHANGHAI, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai’s video call with the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not handle or alleviate the Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA) concern about her well-being, the WTA mentioned on Monday.

The whereabouts of Peng, a former doubles world primary, turned a matter of worldwide concern almost three weeks in the past, after she alleged that former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli had sexually assaulted her.

She appeared at a dinner with pals on Saturday and a youngsters’s tennis event in Beijing on Sunday, pictures and movies revealed by Chinese state media journalists and by the event’s organisers present. But they’ve completed little to quell considerations.

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“It was good to see Peng Shuai in recent videos, but they don’t alleviate or address the WTA’s concern about her well-being and ability to communicate without censorship or coercion,” a WTA spokeswoman mentioned in an e-mail.

Asked in regards to the call with the IOC, the spokeswoman mentioned: “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.”

The IOC mentioned in an announcement that Peng held a 30-minute call with its president Thomas Bach on Sunday throughout which she mentioned she was protected and properly at house in Beijing, and wished to have her privateness revered for now. learn extra

The concern over Peng comes as international rights teams and others have known as for a boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February over China’s human rights document. The WTA has additionally threatened to tug tournaments out of China over the matter. learn extra

Hu Xijin, the editor of the state-owned newspaper Global Times who has in latest days posted movies and images of Peng in Beijing, said on Twitter on Monday that her look must be enough to ease worries of “those who truly care about (the) safety of Peng Shuai.

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A file photo of China’s Peng Shuai serving during a match at the Australian Open on January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su

“But for these aiming to assault China’s system and boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics, info, regardless of what number of, do not work for them,” he said.

On Nov. 2, Peng posted on Chinese social media that Zhang had coerced her into sex and they later had an on-off consensual relationship. The post was quickly deleted and the topic has been blocked from discussion on China’s heavily censored internet.

Neither Zhang nor the Chinese government have commented on Peng’s allegations. China’s State Council Information office and foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent on Monday.

France’s foreign minister called on Sunday for Chinese authorities to let Peng speak publicly.

“I’m anticipating just one factor: that she speaks,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told LCI television, adding that there could be unspecified diplomatic consequences if China did not clear up the situation. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the IOC’s statement.

The United States and Britain have also called for China to provide proof of Peng’s whereabouts.

Current and former tennis players, including Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams and Billie Jean King, joined the calls looking for to verify she was protected, utilizing the social media hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai?

Men’s singles world No.1 Novak Djokovic mentioned it will be unusual to carry tournaments in China except the “horrific” scenario was resolved. learn extra

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Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Richard Pullin & Simon Cameron-Moore

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai signs large-sized tennis balls at the opening ceremony of Fila Kids Junior Tennis Challenger Final in Beijing, China November 21, 2021, in this screen grab obtained from a social media video. TWITTER @QINGQINGPARIS via REUTERS

A file photo of China’s Peng Shuai serving during a match at the Australian Open on January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai signs large-sized tennis balls at the opening ceremony of Fila Kids Junior Tennis Challenger Final in Beijing, China November 21, 2021, in this screen grab obtained from a social media video. TWITTER @QINGQINGPARIS via REUTERS

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