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IOC president Thomas Bach to meet Peng Shuai at Beijing Winter Olympics

Peng, a former world No 1 doubles player, in November alleged on social media that former Chinese vice premier, Zhang Gaoli, had sexually assaulted her

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International Olympic Committee | Winter olympics | Beijing

IANS  |  Beijing 

A file photo of China's Peng Shuai (Photo: Reuters)
China's Peng Shuai (Photo: Reuters)

(IOC) president Thomas Bach on Thursday said that he will meet Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai during the Winter Olympics, to know about her "physical integrity and her mental state".

Peng, a former world No 1 doubles player, in November alleged on social media that former Chinese vice premier, Zhang Gaoli, had sexually assaulted her.

However, the tennis player later said that she had never accused anyone of sexually assaulting her and that the post made by her on China's Twitter-like Weibo platform was misunderstood.

The IOC has held several video calls with Peng in recent months but it still remains unclear how free and safe the three-time Olympian really is. So, the IOC chief will meet Peng at the Games, held from February 4-20.

"We know from her explanations ... that she is living in Beijing, that she can move freely, spending time with family and friends," Bach told a news conference.

"Now we will be able to do the next step in a personal meeting to convince us in person of her well-being and state of mind," he added.

The IOC president also said that if Peng wanted her allegations to be investigated he would support her.

"If she wants to have an inquiry we would also support her in this. But it's her life, it's her allegations. We will know more about her physical integrity and mental state when we meet her in person,'' Bach said.

Notably, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) has also suspended tournaments in China due to its concerns over Peng's safety.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, February 03 2022. 20:27 IST