International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound said the group's unanimous decision regarding tennis star Peng Shuai, whose safety was a concern following her sexual assault allegation against a high-ranking government member, is that she is "fine." On Nov. 21 the IOC wrote in a statement that in a video call with IOC president Thomas Bach, Peng seemed to be "relaxed."
Peng accused former Chinese Communist Party leader Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault on Nov. 2 and was not heard from or seen for a significant amount of time, leading to questions about her safety. After Peng's post of the accusation was taken down by the Chinese government and she was not seen, calls for proof of her safety and freedom came from the tennis world and beyond.
Pound says the call with Peng, which he has not seen footage of, is "the best evidence we have at the moment," according to CNN.
"There are lots of countries where you can't easily leave the country. I think a lot of that is speculation ... What we have is hard evidence as we can have and feel. These are people who have dealt with athletes and dealt with pressure. They can tell whether somebody is behaving under duress or not.
"Their unanimous conclusion was that she was fine. And she just asked that her privacy be respected for the time being."
Not everyone agrees with Pound's point of view regarding the situation.
The European Union announced on Tuesday that it wants a transparent investigation into the sexual assault claims and wants China to release "verifiable proof" that Peng is safe. They added that Peng's "recent public reappearance does not ease concerns about her safety and freedom."