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Dick Pound condemns "nonsense" IOC criticism over Peng Shuai case

Dick Pound condemns
© Reuters
IOC official Dick Pound brands criticism of his organisation's response to the Peng Shuai case "complete nonsense".

International Olympic Committee official Dick Pound has labelled the criticism surrounding the organisation's response to the Peng Shuai case "complete nonsense".

Tennis star Shuai disappeared from the public eye for a couple of weeks after a sexual assault accusation against China's former vice premier Zhang Gaoli, sparking international concern over her safety.

IOC president Thomas Bach claimed that the former doubles number one appeared safe and well during a recent video call, but the WTA remains worried about her wellbeing.

Pound has since blasted criticism of the IOC's response to the case, saying: "To accuse the IOC of being complicit with a Chinese propaganda effort built around Peng is complete nonsense," in quotes attributed to BBC Sport.

"First and foremost, a lot of people around the world were concerned that something might have happened to Peng. The IOC was the only organisation able to get through to her and alleviate some of those concerns.

"That was a great step forward, it's step one - you're not going to resolve the harassment allegations in the course of a 30-minute phone call without the other party being there but we know that she is well and healthy and seems in good spirits and is spending time with family and friends."

China has also hit out at the response to the controversy, claiming that "certain people" have "maliciously hyped up" the case.

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Peng Shuai in action in January 2019
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