Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai confirms she is 'safe and well' 1 week ago

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai confirms she is 'safe and well'

Peng Shuai has confirmed that she is safe and well

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has confirmed that she is safe and well in a video call on Sunday, the International Olympic Committee stated.

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In a statement, the IOC said its President Thomas Bach had spoken to Peng for half-an-hour.

"[She] was doing fine, which was our main concern," the statement read.

The 35-year-old had not been seen for nearly three weeks after she made sexual assault allegations against a senior Chinese minister.

Her 'disappearance' led to widespread concern, with a number of international sports stars and governments calling on China to provide 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.

"She explained that she is safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time," it added.

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"She prefers to spend her time with friends and family right now," it said. "Nevertheless, she will continue to be involved in tennis."

Included in the IOC statement was a photo of the video call taking place, with Peng seen smiling to the camera.

The reaction to the former number one-ranked tennis doubles player's apparent disappearance prompted Chinese state media to release a photographs and videos that appeared to show that she was safe.

On Sunday, a state media journalist posted a video on Twitter which showed Peng smiling, while alongside officials at a tennis tournament in Beijing.

Additionally, Reuters news agency reported that the event organisers also published photos of the player on the event's official WeChat page.

Peng  posted on Chinese social media site Weibo saying that she was "forced" into a sexual relationship with Zhang Gaoli.

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Her allegations, which were soon deleted from China's internet, were made earlier this month and marked the first time that such a claim has been made against one of China's senior political leaders.

Zhang, 75, served as China's vice-premier between 2013 and 2018 and was a close ally of President Xi Jinping.