Wexton, Waltz Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Condemning IOC for Gross Mishandling of Peng Shuai Case, Endangerment of Athlete Safety
Washington, December 3, 2021
Washington, DC -- Today, U.S. Representatives Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) and Michael Waltz (R-FL) introduced a bipartisan resolution condemning the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for collaborating with Chinese government officials to cover up three-time Olympian Peng Shuai’s allegations of sexual assault against a former senior government official and disappearance from public life. Weeks before the opening ceremonies of the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games are set to begin, the IOC’s actions once again call into question the ability and willingness of the organization’s leadership to protect the rights and safety of Olympic athletes.
“The IOC’s decision to participate in this cover up is alarming and demonstrates a dangerous lack of regard for basic human rights and the safety of athletes,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “Peng’s bravery in coming forward about her sexual assault put her in immediate danger, and while many U.S. and international officials as well as the Women’s Tennis Association have come forward in her defense, the IOC has chosen to side with the oppressive PRC regime and further jeopardize Peng’s freedom and safety. Peng Shuai must be allowed to speak and move freely, and her allegations deserve to be thoroughly investigated.”
“The IOC has demonstrated yet again it cares more about appeasing the Chinese Communist Party and the Olympics’ corporate sponsors rather than the wellbeing of Olympic tennis star Peng Shuai who accused a top CCP official of sexual assault. The world is watching as the IOC whitewashes Peng Shuai’s confinement, the Chinese Communist Party’s genocide of the Uighurs, and the repression of democratic rights in Hong Kong and Tibet,” said Congressman Waltz.
The resolution denounces the IOC’s failure to adhere to its own human rights commitments and to respect the free speech of athletes. The IOC’s actions, including twice asserting without providing evidence that Peng Shuai was “doing fine” and desired privacy, despite warnings and condemnation from human rights groups, undermine efforts by the United States government and others to secure Peng’s safety.
Wexton and Waltz are urging the IOC to call on the Chinese government to open an independent and transparent investigation into Peng’s allegations, cease the censorship of Peng’s case, and allow Peng to leave China if she so desires and refrain from all retaliation against Peng’s family in China.
Wexton is a member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and has been outspoken against the Chinese government’s escalating human rights abuses as well as expressed concern for athlete safety at the upcoming Olympic Games.
The full resolution can be found here.