The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has held talks with Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai and has arranged to meet her in Beijing next month.
Back in November, the two-time Grand Slam doubles champion took to social media site Weibo to make allegations against the country’s former Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli.
Peng, 36, claimed that he had “forced” her to have sexual relations with him, although the post was later deleted before she duly disappeared for around three weeks without trace.
She has since denied making the allegations altogether in an interview with Singapore media outlet Lianhe Zaobao, saying: “I need to stress one point that is extremely important, I have never said or written that anyone has sexually assaulted me, I have to clearly stress this point.”
Concern over her situation prompted the WTA to suspend all tournaments in China until further notice.
Last November, the IOC claimed that, Peng had spoken to Thomas Bach, Emma Terho, and Li Lingwei via a video call and said she “is safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time.”
They didn’t release the clip, but have now revealed further contact with the tennis player last week, as well as plans to meet her in Beijing during next month’s Winter Olympics.
An IOC spokesperson said: “Since the first call that the IOC held with Peng Shuai on November 21, 2021, the IOC team has kept in touch with her and had a number of conversations with her, the last one just the past week.”
The opening ceremony for the Games takes place in China on February 4.