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China tennis star Peng denies that she made accusation of sexual assault

China tennis star Peng denies that she made accusation of sexual assault

(FILES) This file photo taken on October 3, 2016 shows China's Peng Shuai reacting after beating Venus Williams of the US in their women's singles first round match at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing. - Peng, one of China's top tennis stars, has accused a top Beijing politician, former vice premier Zhang Gaoli, of forcing her into sex and posted details of a relationship between the two in explosive allegations that censors have raced to scrub from social media.

(FILES) This file photograph taken on October 3, 2016 exhibits China’s Peng Shuai reacting after beating Venus Williams of the US of their girls’s singles first spherical match on the China Open tennis event in Beijing. – Peng, one among China’s prime tennis stars, has accused a prime Beijing politician, former vice premier Zhang Gaoli, of forcing her into intercourse and posted particulars of a relationship between the 2 in explosive allegations that censors have raced to wash from social media. (Picture by Fred DUFOUR / AFP)

Chinese language tennis star Peng Shuai mentioned on Sunday that she had by no means accused anybody of sexually assaulting her, and {that a} social media put up she had made early final month had been misunderstood.

Peng’s well-being grew to become a matter of concern among the many world tennis group and rights teams when she appeared to allege {that a} former Chinese language vice premier, Zhang Gaoli, had sexually assaulted her previously. After that put up, she was absent from public view for almost three weeks.

“First, I must stress one level that’s extraordinarily necessary, I’ve by no means mentioned or written that anybody has sexually assaulted me, I’ve to obviously stress this level,” Peng mentioned within the video posted by Lianhe Zaobao, a Singapore media outlet.

Peng’s remarks on Sunday marked the primary time she had addressed the matter on digital camera in public. She spoke on the sidelines of a cross-country snowboarding occasion in Shanghai that she attended.

She mentioned that her put up on Weibo, a Twitter-like social media web site, which had been rapidly eliminated, was a “non-public matter”.

Peng, 35, mentioned within the video that “individuals have many misunderstandings” about her Weibo put up. She didn’t elaborate.

She additionally mentioned that she had been dwelling at dwelling in Beijing with out supervision. She didn’t point out Zhang.

Reuters has been unable to succeed in Peng since her Weibo put up.

The Girls’s Tennis Affiliation, which early this month mentioned it will droop tournaments in China instantly as a consequence of considerations over the therapy of Peng and the security of different gamers, continued to name for an investigation.

“It was once more good to see Peng Shuai in a public setting and we actually hope she is doing nicely,” it mentioned in an announcement.

“As we’ve got persistently acknowledged, these appearances don’t alleviate or handle the WTA’s vital considerations about her well-being and skill to speak with out censorship or coercion,” the WTA mentioned.

“We stay steadfast in our name for a full, truthful and clear investigation, with out censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault, which is the problem that gave rise to our preliminary concern.”

China has circuitously commented on Peng’s preliminary put up, however mentioned after the WTA’s transfer to droop tournaments in China that it “opposes the politicization of sports activities”.

Zhang has not commented on the matter.

Dialogue of the scandal, which emerged as Beijing prepares to stage the Winter Olympics in February, has been closely censored in China.

Peng mentioned within the video posted on Sunday that she had personally written a letter final month to WTA head Steve Simon, during which she denied the allegation of assault, and that an English translation of it by Chinese language state media was correct.

Simon had mentioned on the time that he “had a tough time believing” that Peng had truly written the e-mail or believed what had been attributed to her.

The Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) has held two video calls with the 35-year-old Peng.

On the Shanghai occasion on Sunday, Peng appeared on a fifth flooring viewing balcony with athletes from varied sports activities, together with former NBA basketball star Yao Ming, and watched for about 20 minutes, in keeping with the Lianhe Zaobao report.

She wore a black jacket with a China flag and a crimson T-shirt with the characters for China.

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