China has called on people to stop "hyping" the case of Peng Shuai. After accusing a former Chinese vice premier of sexual assault, Peng went missing. Over the last few days, the videos and photos that surfaced showed Peng at a restaurant and tennis event.
Also, Peng had a 30-minute call with the International Olympic Committee. “I hope some people stop the deliberate and malicious hype, not to mention politicizing the issue,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference in Beijing on Tuesday, adding that it wasn’t a “diplomatic issue”.
"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. That is why she prefers to spend her time with friends and family right now," the statement said.
IOC athletes commission chair Emma Terho insisted Peng was "doing fine." "I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing fine, which was our main concern," Terho said in the IOC statement. The hockey player from Finland represents athletes on the IOC executive board.
"She appeared to be relaxed. I offered her our support and to stay in touch at any time of her convenience, which she obviously appreciated." World No. 1 Novak Djokovic described the Peng case as "horryfying."
"This is horrifying. A person is missing. She was No. 1 in the world in doubles and one of the most famous Chinese tennis players. This is necessary for us to take whatever actions," Djokovic said. Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal said it's important to know if Peng is okay.
"I follow the news and read the articles about Peng Shuai. Even though I don't have all the information, the most important thing here is to know if she is okay. All of us in the tennis family hope to see her back with us soon," Nadal said.