Peng Shuai ‘looking forward to visiting Europe’ once Covid measures ease, claim IOC

Peng’s safety and freedom has been a concern since she appeared to allege in a social media post that she had been sexually assaulted

Jamie Gardner
Friday 20 May 2022 18:58
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IOC officials were in contact with Peng Shuai two weeks ago, its president Thomas Bach has said (Anthony Devlin/PA)
IOC officials were in contact with Peng Shuai two weeks ago, its president Thomas Bach has said (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Peng Shuai has apparently told Olympic officials she wants to visit Europe but coronavirus restrictions in China are delaying the trip.

There have been concerns over Peng’s safety and freedom after she appeared to allege she had been sexually assaulted by a Chinese government official in a social media post last November.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its president Thomas Bach have been in contact with her since November, and say they have received assurances that she is safe and well, but the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) remains unsatisfied and will not hold any events in China this year as a result.

Peng has not been seen in public since the Beijing Winter Olympics in February but Bach said on Friday that members of the IOC’s athletes commission had been in contact with her on two or three occasions since those Games, with the most recent contact coming two weeks ago.

Bach said: “She’s looking forward to be able to come to Europe and to visit Lausanne, apparently in particular the Olympic museum. This is what I have been told from the calls, but then also maybe to watch one or the other tennis tournament.

“But at this moment in time, you know about the very strict anti-Covid measures in China and about also the quarantine requirements if ever you can leave at all. So we’ll have to see how this develops. But the contact, as we already said, is ongoing.”

China has adopted a ‘zero Covid’ strategy and some residents of Shanghai have been under lockdown for six weeks.

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