IOC “Fails Athletes, Aligns With Abusive Authoritarian Regimes, Disregards Human Rights” – Global Athlete To Bach
Global Athlete, the campaign and representation organisation, has slammed the International Olympic Committee – IOC – as a leadership group “that fails athletes, aligns with abusive authoritarian regimes, and disregards human rights”.
The strong rebuke came in the latest statement in the growing controversy over Peng Shuai, the Chinese tennis player who went off the radar the moment a statement from her about a serious sexual assault she says she endured was taken out of the public domain just half an hour after she posted it a little over two weeks ago.
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Global Athlete’s latest call to action came in response to video call held between Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, Thomas Bach, IOC president, in the presence of “the Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, Emma Terho, and IOC Member in China Li Lingwei”.
The IOC’s statement in full cane be read. below this from Global Athlete:.
Athletes and the international political community must hold the IOC accountable for their actions
Global Athlete Statement in Response to the International Olympic Committee – IOC – President and IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Video Call with Peng Shuai
21 November 2021: Today, the IOC showed a complete disregard for allegations of sexual violence and abuse against athletes. By taking a nonchalant approach to Peng Shuai’s disappearance and by refusing to mention her serious allegations of sexual assault, IOC President Thomas Bach and the IOC Athletes’ Commission demonstrate an abhorrent indifference to sexual violence and the well-being of female athletes.
We are relieved that Peng Shuai is alive, but the IOC’s confirmation of a call with the tennis star does not ensure her safety or wellbeing. The IOC’s press release is a harmful attempt to appease both concerned athletes and the Chinese authorities. The release pretends that Peng never made sexual assault allegations and has not been missing for more than two weeks. The statements make the IOC complicit in the Chinese authority’s malicious propaganda and lack of care for basic human rights and justice. Bach extended an invitation to Peng for dinner rather than ensuring her safety, and by doing so he made a mockery of a deadly serious situation that is regrettably all too familiar for many female athletes.
We stand by our 19 November 2021 statement and call for the IOC to immediately suspend the Chinese Olympic Committee until Peng Shuai is given safe passage out of China and a full and transparent investigation is conducted into her allegations of sexual assault.
The IOC’s actions today again demonstrate that the organization fails athletes, aligns with abusive authoritarian regimes, and disregards human rights. Athletes and the international political community must hold the IOC accountable for their actions.
End of Global Athlete Statement.
The IOC did not issue the following to the media in the standard way. The following appeared in the IOC’s website:
The Statement With No Words From Peng Shuai
21 Nov 2021 – Today, IOC President Thomas Bach held a video call with three-time Olympian Peng Shuai from China. He was joined by the Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, Emma Terho, and IOC Member in China Li Lingwei, who has known Peng Shuai for many years from her time in the Chinese Tennis Federation.
At the beginning of the 30-minute call, Peng Shuai thanked the IOC for its concern about her well-being. She explained that she is safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time. That is why she prefers to spend her time with friends and family right now. Nevertheless, she will continue to be involved in tennis, the sport she loves so much.
“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.
At the end of the call, IOC President Bach invited Peng Shuai for a dinner once he arrives in Beijing next January, which she gladly accepted, and the two agreed to include Emma Terho and Li Lingwei.