Olympic athlete says she got sick after eating poorly prepared chicken from chicken restaurant

Hours after China’s women’s soccer team posted a statement on social media saying that they feared “one of their members” had become ill due to a type of food poisoning, a top official from the International Olympic Committee said the organization was taking the matter “very seriously.”

Peng Shuai, the team’s goalkeeper, was taken to a hospital this week after reporting symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, the Associated Press reported.

Peng, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, said the symptoms came as a result of eating a fried chicken snack purchased at a restaurant in her home province of Zhejiang.

“Peng is fine and recovering well,” IOC member Dick Pound told The Associated Press on Friday. “She is being treated at home. Her family have been supporting her through all this.”

Peng said she did not have the chicken previously, but last week, friends gave her a second serving after hearing that it was listed as the worst possible dish for mice to eat, according to AP. She also claimed that she never had chicken until being given it at the restaurant for her birthday.

Peng wrote in a post on her social media page: “During my childhood and young adulthood I spent many years enjoying eating with friends and family, whether it is Chinese food, Pizza or even Chicken McNuggets. However it’s very hard to be safe in such a culture where unhealthy food can easily be obtained by untrained staff.”

“I’m really disappointed that my family and friends and other athletes who still wish to eat chicken are unable to do so. There was nothing convenient or reliable about the [chicken’s] nutritional value,” she wrote.

Brazilian striker Marta told Reuters that Peng was “the heart and soul of the team” who was surrounded by “a really professional group of people.”

“When you hear something that could happen, you just want to avoid it,” she said. “We went in the dressing room and told each other to keep strong and stay united because all of us have to focus on the World Cup.”

In response to Peng’s distress, the Chinese Football Association wrote on their website that “Players must eat daily and follow the rules, with the bare minimum right of supervision. … A friend supplied Xuyun with the restuarant meals. We will look into the matter, but there is an existing standard operating procedure.”

Read the full story at The Associated Press.


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