- IOC threatened with boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics
- IOC Confirms Peng Shuai alive and well
- IOC accused of publicity stunt with China to save Beijing Winter Olympics
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was under pressure to intervene in the disappearance of top Chinese player Peng Shuai. Her disappearance caused concerns with tennis players and other athletes around the world who took to social media to put pressure on China and the IOC to do more to find Shuai.
Shuai disappeared after she made a post on Weibo, a popular Chinese social media app. She claimed that she was raped by ex-vice-premier Zhang Gaoli.
Her post was edited shortly thereafter claiming it was a consensual relationship that ended quickly. Soon after, her post was taken down and Shuai went missing.
IOC Under Pressure To Cancel Winter Games
China put out a lukewarm assurance that Shuai was alive and well but wanted to remain private. That explanation was not accepted by tennis players who then pressurized the IOC to do more or they sporting committee would call for a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics which is set to take place in Feb 2022.
The IOC responded quickly and claimed that they were able to get in touch with Shuai on Nov 21 and hold a video call with her. They said Shuai was present at a tennis tournament for children in Beijing. Chinese media also circulated pictures and video of Shuai to further prove that nothing was wrong with her.
The IOC has now been accused of engaging in a publicity stunt with China to convey a false message of Shuai being alive and well, due to the pressure of the boycott on the Beijing Winter Olympics. The Australia director of Human Rights Watch, Elaine Pearson said it was shameful to see the IOC be a part of the charade that China was carrying out.
WTA Still Concerned About Shuai
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) said it was good to know Shuai was alive but they were still very concerned about her well-being. Human rights group echoed the same sentiments as they claim that her freedom is being curtailed by China and she could still be in danger.
— wta (@WTA) November 18, 2021
The UK and the US have called on China to release information about Shuai’s whereabouts while the foreign minister for France have asked China to let Shuai speak without anyone censorship.