Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Peng Shuai Ignites Deeper Dive Into Athlete Safety” – below is their description.
A Communist Party-backed newspaper warned the Women’s Tennis Association it was “opening a Pandora’s Box” for suspending its China events out of concern for Peng Shuai’s safety, as the International Olympic Committee said it held a second video call with the star player.
The Global Times accused the WTA of displaying “radicalism” in an English-language editorial posted only as a screenshot to its account on Twitter, which is blocked in China. It didn’t appear on the newspaper’s website or any Chinese-language platforms.
“The WTA has acted as a lever of Western public opinion against China’s political system,” the editorial said, connecting the move with calls from Western politicians to boycott the Olympics set for early next year. The newspaper said the organization was “setting a bad example for the entire sporting world” and called its members “betrayers of the Olympic spirit.”
In a statement later Thursday, the IOC said it held a second call with Peng on Wednesday and would “stay in regular touch with her.” The organization, which has hundreds of millions at stake in the games, has faced criticism for helping Beijing to silence her — claims one senior IOC official dismissed as “silly” in an interview with Bloomberg Television this week.
“We are using ‘quiet diplomacy’ which, given the circumstances and based on the experience of governments and other organizations, is indicated to be the most promising way to proceed effectively in such humanitarian matters,” the IOC said. The call this week “reconfirmed” she “appeared to be safe and well,” it added.
The WTA’s move is likely to increase pressure on athletes and corporate sponsors ahead of the Winter Olympics. The U.S. and its allies are already weighing a diplomatic boycott of the Games over China’s human-rights record, while reports in the country’s state-run media have suggested
Beijing wouldn’t invite many foreign dignitaries to the event.
The former world doubles No. 1 disappeared from the public eye for weeks after publishing a 1,500-word essay on her verified Weibo account last month alleging she’d had a yearslong affair with a former Chinese vice premier. That account, which was scrubbed from the Chinese internet, described an episode that raised concerns she was coerced into sex. Bruin Capital’s George Pyne joins Quicktake’s Scarlet Fu to discussBloomberg Quicktake: Now YouTube Channel
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