IOC president Bach admits Peng...


IOC president Bach admits Peng Shuai is in "fragile situation"

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has admitted that Peng Shuai is in a "very fragile situation". 

He's one of the rare few who have been in contact with the Chinese tennis star since she retreated from view after accusing a former Chinese state official of sexual assault.

Peng hasn't been seen or heard from in public, since making the allegation against ex-member of the China's Politburo Standing Committee, Zhang Gaoli.

Bach - and the IOC - held two video calls with Peng, first on November 21, and then again on December 1.

The calls have done little to allay the fears of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), who have pulled all of their events out of China until such time they are satisfied that she is safe, and not subject to censorship.

Asked how he could identify that the person he spoke to remotely last month was actually Peng, Bach responded, "Everybody agrees that it was Peng Shuai, and this was also obvious in her reports and in her declarations - telling about her life... her story.

"So I haven't heard any doubt by anybody about this identity."

Bach was also asked if Peng's allegations of sexual assault were discussed. He replied: "I can assure you that all aspects of the case are being discussed with the Chinese side."

The IOC have offered their support to Peng, but it was put to Bach that if she was safe she would not require any help.

"She is obviously in a very fragile situation," he responded, "If you see the allegations [that] she made, and if you try to put yourself into the human being confronted with such a situation - and also realising what effect this has in the world - you can easily imagine, and feel, that this does not leave you as a human being, untouched.

"And this is why we are offering this support to her."

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