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IOC official 'disappointed' in ongoing concern for Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai

IOC official 'disappointed' in ongoing concern for Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai
Peng Shuai wasn't heard from for weeks after she made a social media post accusing a former top Chinese official of sexual assault.  File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A top Olympic official says people who concerned about the well-being of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai should stop speculating about a conspiracy involving a recent video call between she and International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach.

Olympic official Dick Pound dismissed claims and concerns that the IOC call with Peng was a publicity stunt, calling them "silly."

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Peng was not heard from for weeks after she made a social media post accusing a former Chinese official of sexual assault, prompting concern for her safety. She re-emerged in the video phone call with Bach and said she was fine.

"I was disappointed," Pound told Bloomberg. "I thought everyone was anxious to find out that she was fine and healthy.

"The IOC was able to establish that and the others were not. All of a sudden it becomes somebody else's fault that their questions haven't been answered."

Peng, a former world No. 1 doubles player, made the accusations on Chinese social media platform Weibo on Nov. 2.

The Women's Tennis Association threatened to cut ties with China if it didn't adequately address Peng's disappearance. The video call with Bach occurred two days later.

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The Chinese government said widespread concern over Peng's disappearance has been "maliciously hyped."

Some criticism directed at the IOC said the Olympic governing body was trying to smooth over the ordeal so as to not interrupt the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February.

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