In the wake of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai’s call with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, the World Players Association has released the following statement:
The World Players Association repeats its call for the urgent establishment of a special delegation of international organizations and human rights experts to meet with Peng Shuai in order to ensure and obtain the necessary guarantees for her rights, health and safety.
The International Olympic Committee’s video call has not only failed to provide the necessary assurances, it has exacerbated global alarm by raising many questions that have rightly been asked by human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch, a partner organisation of World Players in the Sport and Rights Alliance.
The IOC’s approach further exposes its hollow claims to respecting, protecting and guaranteeing the human rights of athletes. It has a long history of deliberately limiting freedom of expression for athletes and in this case appears to be prioritizing its relationship with China, over meaningfully using its leverage to support an athlete who has spoken out against sexual harassment and abuse. The lack of effective representation for athletes within the Olympic Movement has again been laid bare.
World Players shares and reiterates the ongoing concerns and calls for urgent action expressed by athletes, the Women’s Tennis Association and human rights defenders and experts for the rights, health and safety of Peng Shuai.
World Players, the leading voice of organized players in the governance of world sport, first called for a special delegation on Friday.