2 December 2021

The IOC continues to choose business, politics and money over Peng Shuai’s safety

Today the International Olympic Committee (IOC) doubled down on “quiet diplomacy,” failing once again to mention Peng Shuai’s allegations of sexual assault. It appears that the IOC too is subject to Beijing’s censorship, as their actions are clearly meant to appease the Chinese Authorities rather than ensure Peng’s safety.

Since their first call with Peng Shuai, the IOC, through its members, have shown a complete disregard for the sexual assault allegations made by Peng that have been censored by the Chinese government. By ignoring the urgent need for an independent investigation and safe passage out of China for Peng and her family, the IOC has chosen business, politics, and money over athlete safety.

The IOC also claims that by working “directly with Chinese sports organisations” they are taking a “human and person-centred approach to [Peng’s] situation.” In reality, they are assisting Peng’s silencers who have erased her from the internet, disregarding her allegations of sexual assault.

The IOC’s continued failure to grasp the gravity of this situation is a concern for every athlete. With less than two months to the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, the IOC has sent a message to athletes that they will side with the Chinese authorities over basic human rights, justice, and athlete safety.

Global Athlete fully supports the strong and principled stance taken by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and its CEO Steve Simon. The WTA has shown that athlete welfare trumps all business interests.

We call on athletes, human rights organizations, governments, sponsors, and National Olympic Committees to demand an external investigation into Peng Shuai’s sexual assault allegations against a former top Communist Party official. Additionally, we reiterate our call for the IOC to 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.

• This media release was published by Global Athlete on 2 December 2021. Click here for the original.

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