When Olympics organizers held a video call with Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, many activists and experts said it was merely a continuation of a decadeslong trend in which the International Olympic Committee has enabled and even emboldened authoritarian regimes.
Peng, a three-time Olympian and former doubles world No. 1, wasn’t seen for three weeks after making sexual assault allegations against Zhang Gaoli, a former vice premier who was one of China’s most powerful officials.
Kelley Currie, former U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, was among many critics dismayed that the IOC would be so ready to accept that Peng was OK.
“It was typical IOC: take the Chinese Communist Party at its word despite all evidence to the contrary,” said Currie, who also served as the U.S. representative on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. She called the IOC response “self-serving and hypocritical” and accused it of “participating in a blatant CCP propaganda damage-control effort.”
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