The video call appears to be Peng’s first direct contact with an international sports official after concerns for her wellbeing escalated following sexual assault allegations made against retired ex-Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.
The three-time Olympian and former Wimbledon doubles champion thanked IOC’s president Thomas Bach for its concern about her wellbeing and explained she just wanted some privacy in a call that lasted around 30 minutes.
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“At the beginning of the 30-minute call, Peng Shuai thanked the IOC for its concern about her well-being,” the organisation said in a statement.
“She explained that she is safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time.
“That is why she prefers to spend her time with friends and family right now. 
“Nevertheless, she will continue to be involved in tennis, the sport she loves so much.”
Peng Shuai was unable to be contacted for more than two weeks after sexual assault allegations against former vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli. Picture: Getty Images
Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, Emma Terho, who joined the call, said the tennis player “appeared to be relaxed”.
“I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing fine, which was our main concern,” Terho said.
“She appeared to be relaxed. I offered her our support and to stay in touch at any time of her convenience, which she obviously appreciated.”
Earlier this month, Peng wrote on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, that Zhang had “forced” her to have sexual relations with him after she played tennis at his house.
The post was taken down immediately with top tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka expressing concerns for her welfare after she was unable to be contacted for more than two weeks.
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