Peng Shuai still in contact with Olympic officials, hopes to visit Europe in the near future
Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has continued to speak with Olympic officials since the Beijing Winter Games and wants to visit Europe soon, IOC president Thomas Bach said Friday.
The fallout from Peng's allegations in November of being sexually assaulted by a Chinese Communist Party official complicated matters for Olympic organizers. Her interview with a French journalist in Beijing to retract her claims and later visits to the Games to watch medal events, including with Bach, did not erase all doubts about her personal safety.
The social media hashtag "#WhereIsPengShuai" has continued to circulate since February.
Asked about Peng's well-being in an online news conference, Bach said a phone call Peng had with IOC athletes commission members this month was a "second or third" contact with her since the Olympics.
"She is looking forward to be able to come to Europe and to visit Lausanne, apparently in particular the Olympic Museum," Bach said. "Then also maybe to watch one or the other tennis tournament."
Bach noted the strict public health and quarantine policies in China during the coronavirus pandemic could complicate Peng's travel plans.
"We have to see how this develops. The contact, as we always said, is ongoing," he said.