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WTA Says Peng Shuai Video Call With IOC Does Not Change ‘Call For A Full, Fair And Transparent Investigation’
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 21: Shuai Peng of China in action during her Women's Singles first round match against Nao Hibino of Japan on day two of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 21, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)
Fred Lee/Getty Images

Missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai was seen for the first time since November 2nd over the weekend in videos posted by Chinese state media, in which she was seen out to eat and attending a youth tennis tournament. 

Sunday morning, president of the IOC Thomas Bach held a video call with Peng, where she said she is “safe and well.”

“I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing fine, which was our main concern. She appeared to be relaxed. I offered her our support and to stay in touch at any time of her convenience, which she obviously appreciated,” said Emma Terho, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

Though the video call was a relief for the IOC, it’s apparently insufficient for the Women’s Tennis Association. 

“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,” a WTA spokeswoman said in an email to ESPN.

Chairman and CEO Steve Simon told CNN last week that he was willing to pull business out of China if her accusations of sexual assault are not investigated and “until we have a chance to speak with directly.” 

“We’re at a crossroads with our relationship obviously with China and operating our business over there,” Simon said. “There’s no question about it… We’ve had a lot of success over there. I think that when you look at this though, there’s too many times in our world today when we get into issues like this that we let business, politics, money dictate what’s right and what’s wrong.” 

“When we have a young person who has the fortitude to step up and make these allegations, knowing full well what the results of that are going to be, for us to not support that and demand justice as we go through it, we have to start as a world making decisions that are based upon right and wrong. Period.” 

On November 2nd, Peng posted to Chinese social media that former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli sexually assaulted her three years ago following a round of tennis, while Zhang’s wife guarded the door. Her post was deleted nearly 30 minutes after publication and Peng’s Weibo account — a Chinese social media platform —  was blocked. 

Last week, a statement attributed to Peng was tweeted out by CGTN — a Chinese state-affiliated media company — where Peng denies her claim that Zhang sexually assaulted her. It was the first time Pemg has been heard of since the accusation. 

In response, Simon put out a statement calling the situation “concerning” following the alleged statement from Peng.

“The statement released today by Chinese state media concerning Peng Shuai only raises my concerns as to her safety and whereabouts,” the statement read.

“I have a hard time believing that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or believes what is being attributed to her. Peng Shuai displayed incredible courage in describing an allegation of sexual assault against a former top official in the Chinese government.”

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to

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