Talk of organized Chinese dissident attacks is over, the International Olympic Committee has assured Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. Pu, one of China’s most famous female athletes, had asked the IOC to be allowed to compete in Beijing after the death of her friend Lei Jun in a mysterious incident. The incident, which took place just days before President Xi Jinping’s party congress, remains shrouded in mystery. Lei, described by the Associated Press as “the son of communist revolutionaries,” was shot in the chest and killed in front of Pu’s car in front of his mother. At the same time, Pu was having lunch in her driveway with her husband and other friends, reports indicate.
And it turned out that the AP wasn’t alone in documenting both the murder and the hellish aftermath. China’s state-run news agency Xinhua has made at least nine stories on the incident, including a November 9 evening edition that has since been removed.
Naming China’s “most hated” man: who carried out death of Leiren Jun in Nanjing. pic.twitter.com/wTC9HxBhRN — John Cacioppo (@frypaano) November 10, 2017
Peng, who now travels with more than 50 bodyguards, has campaigned for her and her son to be allowed to compete at the 2022 Summer Games, despite warnings that the case may be politically sensitive. In her request to the IOC, she wrote that: “Lei Jun’s death has turned to a dark place and tainted even my sport and I. I have many needs, mainly to compete with teammates.”
She also wrote of her mother, who had “humbly made difficult choices,” including serving in the People’s Liberation Army, saying that she needed her daughter to compete and be with her family.
It seems, however, that the IOC may have listened to Pu and agreed to let her compete. In a statement released Tuesday, the Olympic body said: “Peng Shuai is safe and has asked that the IOC consider including her in the team for the Beijing Games in 2022.” They added that if she “offers clear evidence that she would face difficulties, then she will be left in no doubt that it is no longer necessary to make a case for her right to play.”
Read the full story at The New York Times.
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