Thomas Bach Is Criticized for His Handling of the Peng Shuai Case

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“What the I.O.C. established is that quiet and discreet diplomacy gets you better than clashing cymbals,” Pound said. “That’s not the way you deal with any country, certainly not with China.” It is unclear how Bach managed to engineer a call with Peng when the WTA Tour and others had been unsuccessful, though the presence on the call of an I.O.C. member from China, Li Lingwei, offered a tantalizing clue. “The I.O.C. has vaulted itself from silence about Beijing’s abysmal human rights record to active collaboration with Chinese authorities in…

Peng Shuai’s Accusation Pierced the Privileged Citadel of Chinese Politics

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Before Zhang Gaoli was engulfed in accusations that he had sexually assaulted a tennis champion, he seemed to embody the qualities that the Chinese Communist Party prizes in officials: austere, disciplined, and impeccably loyal to the leader of the day. He had climbed steadily from running an oil refinery to a succession of leadership posts along China’s fast-growing coast, avoiding the scandals and controversy that felled other, flashily ambitious politicians. He became known, if for anything, for his monotone impersonality. On entering China’s top leadership, he invited people to search…

Why Peng Shuai Frustrates China’s Propaganda Machine

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The Chinese government has become extremely effective in controlling what the country’s 1.4 billion people think and talk about. But influencing the rest of the world is a different matter, as Peng Shuai has aptly demonstrated. Chinese state media and its journalists have offered one piece of evidence after another to prove the star Chinese tennis player was safe and sound despite her public accusation of sexual assault against a powerful former vice premier. One Beijing-controlled outlet claimed it obtained an email she wrote in which she denied the accusations.…

Video of Peng Shuai With Olympic Officials Fuels a Showdown With Tennis

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According to the I.O.C. statement, Bach invited Peng to a dinner when he arrives for the Games in Beijing, which would include Terho and Li Lingwei, an I.O.C. member and Chinese Tennis Federation official who also participated in the call. However, the seemingly friendly banter and dinner plans did little to satisfy Steve Simon, the chief executive of the WTA Tour. Simon has been trying to establish independent contact with Peng for more than a week to no avail and has grown increasingly strident in his criticism of the Chinese…

Who, and Where, Is Chinese Tennis Star Peng Shuai?

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A simple question has gripped the sports world and drawn the attention of the White House, United Nations and others: Where is Peng Shuai? The Chinese tennis star disappeared from public view for weeks this month after she accused a top Chinese leader of sexual assault, prompting a global chorus of concern for her safety. Then, this weekend, the editor of a Communist Party-controlled newspaper posted video clips that appear to show Ms. Peng eating at a restaurant and attending a tennis event in Beijing. And on Sunday, the International…

Peng Shuai Said to Be in Videos From China’s State Media

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Nearly two weeks after people across the world began asking “Where is Peng Shuai?,” two questionable videos surfaced Saturday on social media of a person who appears to be the Chinese tennis star at a restaurant. The videos were shared on Twitter by the editor of a state-run newspaper, but the seemingly unnatural conversation in one video and the unclear location and dates of both raised questions about Peng’s safety and whether she was appearing in the videos of her own free will. A third video, said to be of…

Concern and Anger Build Over Peng Shuai’s Sexual Assault Allegations

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There has never been a case like this in China: a prominent athlete making such significant allegations against one of the country’s major political figures. Though Simon received an email from Peng this week, Simon has cast doubt on its authenticity and insisted that the tour wants verifiable proof that Peng is safe. He has said that no one in the tennis community has been able to contact her directly. Simon has called for a full investigation into Peng’s allegations of sexual assault, an inquiry free of censorship. That could…

The Question the I.O.C. Is Too Weak to Ask

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Where is Peng Shuai? That’s the question the International Olympic Committee and its president, Thomas Bach, should be shouting right now — loud, demanding, and aimed squarely at the leadership in China, set to host the Beijing Games in February. But instead of firm demands, we’re hearing not much more than faint, servile whispers from Olympic leadership. Peng, 35, a Chinese tennis star and three-time Olympian, has been missing since Nov. 2, when she used social media to accuse Zhang Gaoli, 75, a former vice premier of China, of sexually…

Women’s Tennis Challenges China’s Narrative Over Missing Player

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The top official overseeing women’s tennis on Wednesday directly challenged the narrative presented by Chinese state media that a highly ranked professional player had walked back allegations of sexual assault against a top Communist Party official, saying he feared for her well-being. China Global Television Network, an English-language broadcaster controlled by the Chinese government, on Wednesday distributed an email that it said had been written by Peng Shuai, the highly ranked player. Ms. Peng has not been seen in public since Nov. 2, when she posted the accusation on social…

China’s Peng Shuai Makes #MeToo Claim Against Zhang Gaoli

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An economist by education, Mr. Zhang, now 75, rose through the ranks of the party and government. He served as governor of Shandong, the coastal province, and then as party secretary in Tianjin, the provincial-level port city on the Bohai Sea. As vice premier from 2013 to 2018, he was one of seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee, headed then, as now, by China’s leader, Xi Jinping. “I know that for someone of your eminence, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, you’ve said that you’re not afraid,” Ms. Peng wrote in…

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