A week and a half earlier, the IOC had already spread the news about an initial attack with Peng Shuai. In addition, the IOC presented a picture of a video call with President Thomas Bach, combined with the message that she was well and safe at home – which, however, left more pressing questions for the IOC instead of the required answers.
Pound: Criticism of the IOC is “a bit stupid”
The criticism of the IOC had grown since then, and on Tuesday (November 30th, 2021) the European Union also demanded “verifiable evidence” about Peng Shuai’s well-being. With Richard Pound a high-ranking IOC member responded for the first time – and rejected the international criticism of the IOC’s approach. Pound described the doubts about the representation of the IOC and the continuing demands for further clarification in one Bloomberg-Interview as “something stupid“They disagreed with the evidence, Pound said. The IOC official also rejected speculations that Peng Shuai may not have been able to speak freely in the video call.”There is no sign of coercion. Everyone can be sure: she is fine.“
Pound stressed that all sorts of people had previously tried unsuccessfully to contact Peng Shuai to make sure she was alive or that she was not under arrest. “The IOC is the only organization that has achieved this.”
Pound: “Possible continuation of the dialogue”
In addition, it also held up Pound further covered – especially with the central question of how that IOC deals with the abuse allegations made by a top Chinese athlete. Against the top functionary of a regime that will host the Winter Olympics next February. The video call with the IOC President was “a good start“, said Pound, but otherwise spoke only vaguely of one”possible continuation of the dialogue“About the statements made by Peng Shuai.
The video images from the conversation with Bach could provide a little more clarity. According to a report by “Guardian“Does the IOC refuse to publish the full length video call, despite several requests. Perhaps because it could make it public that the IOC would rather not bring up uncomfortable questions to the Olympic host and its multi-million dollar sponsorship industry?
Pounds statements could also be understood to mean that the IOC had arranged the video call with Peng Shuai. This can be more than doubted, however, in view of the rigid communication policy of China’s leadership – especially when it comes to such serious allegations against a high-ranking party official, as in the case of Peng Shuai. The fact that China’s IOC member Li Lingwei took part in the circuit with Bach and the player should be seen as an indication that the director was actually in Beijing.
US think tank: IOC as “collaborator in the suppression of human rights”
The IOC continues to be accused of being harnessed for China’s PR campaign. The Beijing regime is keen to suppress any discussion of Peng Shuai’s allegations. And to portray the reporting from abroad, as has often been done in similar cases, as anti-Chinese propaganda.
The IOC and its German President, in turn, apparently continue to regard the video link with Peng Shuai as sufficient evidence that the player is not exposed to any threat in China. With this, however, the IOC is making itself the “Chinese government collaborator in the suppression of human rights“said China expert Sarah Cook from the US-Think Tank “Freedom House” in the “New York Times“. Cook sees a new quality in the dubious handling of the IOC with China’s rulers:”This is beyond anything we’ve seen so far.”
Pressure on Bach’s IOC before the Olympics
The pressure on the IOC is likely to increase as the date for the opening ceremony approaches. The US has already announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games. Relations between the two countries have already been badly damaged because of China’s policies of repression. It is likely that political celebrities from other western countries will avoid China’s winter festival as well.
There is now also criticism of the Olympic background noise from China itself. As the “Guardian” reports, an English correspondent for the Chinese state television “CGTN” has been given leave of absence. He had previously criticized the station simply not being able to dispel doubts abroad that Peng Shuai is doing well.
Stand: 02.12.2021, 16:44
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Olympia, Beijing 2022: IOC reports another video switch with Peng Shuai