Sunday 21 November 2021
Tennis star missing in China
Next video of missing Peng Shuai surfaced
The concern in the sports world for Peng Shuai is still great. Chinese state media are disseminating new images of the tennis player. But she herself does not have a say in it. After all, the IOC, which is holding the Olympic Games in China in a few weeks, is now also speaking.
China’s state media have circulated another video allegedly showing tennis player Peng Shuai, who is believed to have disappeared. Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state newspaper Global Times, posted a short clip on Twitter showing Peng Shuai opening a youth tennis tournament in Beijing. You can see how she and other guests are called by name and greeted with applause from the audience. She waves and smiles briefly, but does not speak up herself. The French news agency AFP could not verify the authenticity of the staged videos.
In early November, Peng Shuai accused a top Chinese politician of sexual assault on the Weibo social network. Since then, the Chinese woman has not been seen in public. On Friday evening, the Chinese state television allegedly distributed current photos of the tennis star on Twitter. On Saturday, a video was distributed – also via Twitter – that Peng Shuai is supposed to show while having dinner with friends in a Beijing restaurant. However, many connoisseurs of China express doubts about the pictures.
IOC is reluctant to respond
“This video alone is not enough,” Steve Simon, head of the international women’s tennis organization WTA, commented on the restaurant clip. “While it is positive to see her, it remains unclear whether she is free and able to make her own decisions.” It is not clear whether she can act without coercion. He continues to worry about their health and safety and that their sexual assault allegations are obviously being censored, Simon said. Because of the affair, the WTA threatens to withdraw the tennis tour completely from China.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission also expressed concern about the case. “Together with the global athletic community, the commission is very concerned about the situation of three-time Olympic competitor Peng Shuai,” IOC Athlete Commission Chair Emma Terho wrote on Twitter. “We support the approach of silent diplomacy and hope that it will lead to the publication of information about the whereabouts of Peng Shuai and confirmation of her safety and well-being,” said the former ice hockey player from Finland.
The IOC then reacted for the first time to the case of Peng Shuai, who was considered missing. “The IOC appreciates the concerns expressed by so many athletes and National Olympic Committees. We also applaud the support of the IOC Athletes Commission for our quiet diplomatic approach,” said a spokesman. This means that the open dialogue with the Olympic movement in China will continue at all levels. However, this approach is sharply criticized from many sides because it spares China from public criticism and is much too cautious and hesitant in view of the presumed gravity of the situation.