IOC member Dick Pound said he was puzzled by the response the IOC received after revealing their 30-minute call with Peng Shuai. Shuai went missing in China after accusing a former vice premier of sexual assault. No one -- including the WTA -- was able to get into a direct contact with Peng but IOC managed and they claimed Peng was well and safe.
"I must say I’m really puzzled by that assessment of it,” Pound told Christiane Amanpour on CNN. “Lots of people around the world were looking to see what happened to Peng Shuai. “Nobody was able to establish contact.
Only the IOC was able to do so, and there was a conversation that was held by video with Thomas Bach and two female IOC members. “Nobody has released the video because that aspect of it was private. But they found her in good health and in good spirits”.
The IOC insisted Peng was more than safe and well
“[Those on the call] saw no evidence of confinement or anything like that,” Pound continued. “She just wanted to spend some time with family and friends.
And [Bach told Shuai] ‘I’ll be in Beijing in a month or two, let’s get together and have lunch or something and continue our conversation.’ “So, if you’re really concerned about Peng Shuai, you’ve got some good news”.
On Wednesday, the WTA suspended all tournaments scheduled to take place in China in 2022. "As a result, and with the full support of the WTA Board of Directors, I am announcing the immediate suspension of all WTA tournaments in China, including Hong Kong.
In good conscience, I don’t see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai is not allowed to communicate freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of sexual assault. Given the current state of affairs, I am also greatly concerned about the risks that all of our players and staff could face if we were to hold events in China in 2022," WTA CEO Steve Simon announced.