Olympic officials have been on the defensive for weeks over their relative silence on Peng’s disappearance and his sexual assault allegations, which critics of the organization and China have ridiculed as an attempt to avoid even the appearance to criticize a powerful partner. The 2022 Winter Olympics in China, which will make Beijing the first city to host the Summer and Winter Games, will open on February 4.
The IOC countered that his efforts to help Peng were a campaign of “quiet diplomacy,” a phrase he repeated in Thursday’s statement and which his officials used to defend the organization in media appearances.
“There are different ways to ensure his well-being and safety,” said the IOC. “We took a very human and person-centered approach to her situation. Since she is a three-time Olympian, the IOC is addressing these issues directly with Chinese sports organizations. We use “quiet diplomacy” which, given the circumstances and based on the experience of governments and other organizations, is shown to be the most promising way to proceed effectively in such humanitarian matters. “
Women’s tennis, through the WTA Tour, has taken a much more confrontational approach with China. Her announcement on Wednesday that she was suspending all of her events in China came after weeks of requests from the tour and its general manager Steve Simon, for assurances about Peng’s safety and an investigation into her allegations.
The decision to withdraw its events from China and Hong Kong could cost the tour hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, but it has made the WTA Tour the only major sports organization to push back the increasingly authoritarian government of China. . WTA Tour officials said they made the move after being unable to speak directly with Peng after accusing Zhang Gaoli, a former Chinese vice premier, in social media posts that were quickly deleted.
Although No.1 male tennis player Novak Djokovic expressed support for the WTA’s decision on Wednesday evening, ATP, which runs the men’s professional tennis circuit, has not threatened to withdraw or suspend. its events in China. It had four tournaments scheduled in the country in 2021, but all have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Understanding the disappearance of Peng Shuai
Where is Peng Shuai? The Chinese tennis star has disappeared from public view for weeks after accusing a top Chinese leader of sexual assault. Recent videos that appear to show Ms. Peng haven’t done much to address concerns about her safety.
Last week ATP released its schedule for the first half of 2022 but Chinese events that could be affected, including a Masters 1000 in Shanghai, are all said to be in the second half of the season. The potential WTA Tour saves were due to arrive much sooner, and Simon said the tour had no choice but to cancel them.