Rick Scott to IOC: China’s Treatment of Peng Shuai Shows Why 2022 Games Cannot be Held in Beijing

At the end of last week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., sent a letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach regarding the recent disappearance of the Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai following her public allegations of sexual assault by a former Chinese Communist Party official.

Given that American athletes and coaches will soon be traveling to Beijing for the 2022 Olympic Games, Scott requested the IOC explain how it plans to ensure the safety of athletes and coaches in the face of Communist China’s rampant abuses, and if it will support an investigation into Peng Shuai’s disturbing allegations and disappearance.

The letter is below.

Dear Mr. Bach:

The recent disappearance of Peng Shuai, the former Wimbledon doubles champion and top-ranked doubles player of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has shocked the world and exposed the disturbing lack of basic rights and human decency experienced by the Chinese people at the hand of General Secretary Xi’s ruthless communist regime. As you know, in early November, Ms. Shuai shared her story of assault by a former Vice Premier of Communist China, Zhang Gaoli, on Weibo. Her story was immediately removed, and her whereabouts were unknown for some time.

While I understand that you have now had two video calls with Ms. Shuai following this series of terrifying events, you have not provided any concrete evidence of her safety. Moreover, I am deeply concerned that in neither of the interviews have you asked what happened to her nor about her alleged assault by Vice Premier Gaoli. Your failure to ask these questions and ensure her safety reveals that you are more interested in your personal relationship with a genocidal communist regime than the safety of athletes.

I want to be very clear – the IOC cannot ignore what has happened to Ms. Shuai or attempt to move past this horrifying incident simply to avoid confrontation with Communist China. The vision of your organization is to “Build a Better World through Sport” and now, the IOC has the opportunity to do just that by standing for the safety and security of our athletes, and ending its operations in Communist China until the truth is known and accountability is secured. Just this week, the WTA announced it would take immediate action to suspend all its events in Communist China after it remained doubtful that Ms. Shuai is “free, safe and not subject to censorship, coercion and intimidation.” There is absolutely no reason that the IOC should not take similar action.

I have written to you about Communist China’s human rights abuses for the past two years, yet you have continued to choose to placate General Secretary Xi and his communist thugs and completely ignored my calls to move the 2022 Olympics to a country that actually respects human rights. These most recent revelations about Ms. Shuai, combined with your lack of action, are deeply concerning considering that American athletes and coaches will soon be traveling to Beijing for the 2022 Olympics.

In light of the upcoming games, and the assault and disappearance of Peng Shuai, please provide a written response to the following questions:

Will the IOC commit to ending its operations in Communist China until accountability for Ms. Shuai’s alleged assault is secured?

Will the IOC allow former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli to attend the 2022 Olympic Games?

What measures would you use to punish the Communist Chinese government if an athlete was sexually assaulted or harassed by another Communist Chinese Party official during the 2022 Olympic Games?

Do you plan to conduct and/or support a full and completely transparent investigation, in conjunction with the WTA, into the assault and disappearance of Ms. Shuai?

What is the IOC’s plan to ensure the safety of athletes and coaches participating in the 2022 Olympic Games?

How will you ensure that all athletes’ communications will not be subject to Chinese law and censorship?

How will you ensure that all athletes’ biological and genetic information will not be stolen by the Chinese government, especially disguised behind attempts to spread of COVID-19?

Thank you for your attention on this important matter, and I look forward to a prompt response.

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