Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai on Tuesday attended compatriot Eileen Gu’s victory in the high jump ski competition in Beijing, which placed the host country at the top of the medal table.
Peng, who could be seen in the stands wearing a black wool hat with Olympic rings and a black coat with the Chinese flag on it, thanked a journalist for his greeting but refused to answer questions as he left the venue.
Peng’s well-being became a matter of global concern when in November she appeared alleging on social media that a former Chinese vice premier, Zhang Gaoli, had sexually assaulted her in the past. After that post, which was quickly erased, it disappeared from public view for nearly three weeks.
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During Tuesday morning’s competition she sat among Olympic athletes and members of delegations from various countries next to the finish area at big Air Shougang, the characteristic compound built on a former steel factory.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach visited members of the group, including Peng, during the competition.
“I just met her, she was sitting here in the stadium,” Bach told Reuters. “I was among the athletes and I had the opportunity to meet with several athletes from Switzerland and from Germany and the United States.”
A three-time Olympian, Peng’s presence during the Games had been the subject of speculation since the IOC said it planned to meet her in Beijing. The IOC, which had said last week that Peng would meet Bach inside the Olympic bubble, previously said Peng had attended a curling competition.
The World Tennis Association (WTA), which suspended its tournaments in China following Peng’s post, said on Monday that its denial of making the accusation had failed to resolve concerns about his safety.