Missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has spoken with the International Olympic Committee and has assured it that she is safe, the sports association announced on Sunday. The news follows growing global concern about the three-time Olympian’s whereabouts.
Peng had disappeared from public sight earlier this month after accusing a former member of the Chinese government of sexual assault. In a 30-minute video call, the tennis player said she is safe and well at her home in Beijing but would like her privacy to be respected at this time, the IOC said in a statement.
“She appeared to be relaxed,” Emma Terho, chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, said in a statement after participating in the video call. “I offered her our support and to stay in touch at any time of her convenience, which she obviously appreciated.”
The IOC, which is based in Switzerland, appeared to share a photo of Peng smiling while participating in Sunday’s call.
Peng had accused former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her to have sex at his home, according to screenshots of a since-deleted social media post from her verified Weibo microblog on Nov. 2.
The post was deleted within minutes of being posted and Weibo users were unable to search for her account or comment on her other posts, in a telltale sign of rapid government censoring. She had not been seen or heard from publicly since then.
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