There were reports of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai being missing following sexual assault allegations she made against a Chinese government official. However, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Shuai is not missing and is safe. The IOC said that Peng, 35, met with the organization's President Thomas Back and two other IOC officials and addressed her safety. It's not clear when the call took place.
Peng reportedly "thanked the IOC for its concern about her well-being" and "explained that she is safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time," the organization said, per PEOPLE. One of the officials who met with Peng, athletes commission chair Emma Terho, revealed what she told her during the meeting.
"I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing fine, which was our main concern. She appeared to be relaxed," Terho said. "I offered her our support and to stay in touch at any time of her convenience, which she obviously appreciated." This news comes shortly after Peng was seen in public twice over the weekend, according to CNN. Peng was seen with friends at a dinner and then attended a children's tournament the following day.
"It was good to see Peng Shuai in recent videos, but they don't alleviate or address the WTA's concern about her well-being and ability to communicate without censorship or coercion," a WTA spokeswoman told ESPN. "This video does not change our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation, without censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault, which is the issue that gave rise to our initial concern."
On Nov. 2, Peng posted on Chinese social media that former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli had coerced her into sex and that led had an on-off consensual relationship. The post was quickly deleted and has been blocked from the discussion on China's internet. Tennis star Naomi Osaka posted on social media about the situation.
"Hey everyone, not sure if you've been following the news but I was recently informed of a fellow tennis player that has gone missing shortly after revealing that she has been sexually abused," Osaka wrote last week. "Censorship is never ok at any cost, I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and ok. I'm in shock of the current situation and I'm sending love and light her way."
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.