Chinese media released several videos showing famed tennis star Peng Shuai, who seemed to be missing in recent days. One appeared to show Peng at a junior tennis event in Beijing

Additionally in a video call, Peng Shuai conferred with officials of the International Olympic Committee for 30 minutes and assured them that she is “safe and well.”

On Nov. 2, Peng — who played for China in the Olympic games of 2008, 2012, and 2016 and is a star in that country — made an accusation on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, that a prominent Chinese government official, Zhang Gaoli, had assaulted her during an on-off romantic relationship while he was vice premier. 

Her post was soon removed from Weibo, (a platform roughly similar to Twitter). In fact a range of posts and searches related to it, including even the search term “tennis,” were soon blocked and removed. 

On Nov. 15, The Guardian reported that it had attempted to contact Peng through her Weibo account  but its effort had “prompted an error message that the content contained information that violates relevant laws and regulations.”

The New York Times said that this was the first time a member of the top echelons of the Chinese Communist Party has faced a serious sexual assault allegation. Zhang Gaolu is both a former vice premier of the People’s Republic of China and a former member of the Chinese Communist Party Politburo Standing Committee.  

Soon thereafter, people started to wonder openly where Peng Shuai was. The questions took hashtag form: #WhereIsPengShuai. 

Naomi Osaka, a Japanese tennis player who is also in the upper echelon of World Women’s tennis, has been one of many of the sport’s celebrities expressing concern. She said, “Censorship is never ok at any cost. I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and ok.”

Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the official newspaper of China’s Communist Party, Global Times, has taken a prominent role in damage control in this matter. 

Alongside the video of Peng released Sunday, Hu Xijin wrote: “Peng Shuai showed up at the opening ceremony of a teenager tennis match final in Beijing on Sunday morning.”

In the video conference with the International Olympic Committee later Sunday, participants included IOC president Thomas Bach, member Li Lingwell, who was formerly a vice president of the Chinese Tennis Association, and athletes commission chair Emma Terho. Terho is a hockey played from Finland.

Some have criticized the IOC for its relative silence as concerns about Peng have grown. But the IOC’s defenders have said that it is pursuing a “quiet diplomacy” with China, which will be the host of the upcoming 2022 Winter Games.

In the call, Bach invited Peng to join him at a dinner when he arrives in Beijing in two months in run-up to those games. She is said to have accepted that invitation.

“I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing fine, which was our main concern,” the IOC statement quoted Terho saying.

“She appeared to be relaxed,” Terho also said. “I offered her our support and to stay in touch at any time of her convenience, which she obviously appreciated.”

In a statement Sunday, before the IOC meeting but after the publication of video evidence of Peng Shuai appearances by the China state media, Steve Simon, the chairman and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association, said, “While it is positive to see her, it remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or external interference.”

Although China’s state media has in recent days portrayed Peng Shuai as retracting her allegations against Zhang, the IOC’s statement about its video conference does not speak to that point.