Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai said she was safe and well in a video call on Sunday, the International Olympic Committee said.
In a statement, the IOC said its President Thomas Bach had spoken to Ms Peng for 30 minutes. “She was doing fine, which was our main concern,” readds the statement. Ms Peng, 35, disappeared from the public eye for almost three weeks after she charged sexual assault against a senior Chinese minister.
Her absence sparked widespread concern, with international sports stars and governments urging China to show proof that she was safe.
“At the beginning of the 30-minute call, Peng Shuai thanked the IOC for its concern about her wellbeing,” the statement from the organisation said. The outcry over the tennis star’s apparent disappearance from the public eye prompted Chinese state media to release a series of photographs and videos that appeared to show all was well. Earlier on Sunday, a state media journalist posted a video clip on Twitter showing Ms Peng smiling while standing with officials at a tennis tournament in Beijing. Event organisers also published photos of the player on the event’s official WeChat page. But a spokesperson from the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) told Reuters the videos were “insufficient” evidence of her safety and did not address its concerns about Ms Peng.