Chinese Tennis Star Peng Shuai Denies Making Sexual-Assault Accusations

Joseph B. Hash

HONG KONG—Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai denied accusing any person of sexual assault, suggesting a international wave of problem for her protection and wellbeing was the outcome of misunderstandings.

“I’ve under no circumstances claimed, or published about any person acquiring sexually assaulted me. This is pretty crucial and requires to be crystal clear,” stated Ms. Peng in a six-moment movie job interview with Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao, a Chinese-language publication run by condition-controlled

Singapore Press Holdings Ltd.

, that was posted on line Sunday.

“There’s been a large amount of misunderstanding,” Ms. Peng stated in the job interview, describing the condition as touching on “my personal privateness.”

“There should not be any distorted interpretations,” she stated.

Her words and phrases comply with a Nov. two submit that appeared on Ms. Peng’s verified social-media account, which explained an on-and-off marriage with previous Chinese Vice Leading

Zhang Gaoli

that lasted for some years, and was often consensual and often involved coercion. The submit alleged that in one occasion Mr. Zhang forced Ms. Peng to have sex with him, but it didn’t use the Chinese expression for sexual assault to describe the come upon.

The Nov. two submit disappeared right after about 20 minutes. Despite the fact that Ms. Peng’s social-media account stays on line, its commenting operate has been disabled and her title is blocked in searches.

Online video posted by Chinese condition media journalists confirmed tennis star Peng Shuai earning her to start with general public appearance right after she disappeared in early November. Peng has elevated international problem following a sexual-assault accusation versus a retired senior Chinese official. Image: Twitter/HuXijin_GT

Ms. Peng’s job interview has not eased problems about her, the Women’s Tennis Affiliation stated in a statement to news company Agence-France Presse.

“We continue being steadfast in our simply call for a comprehensive, fair and clear investigation, with no censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault,” AFP quoted the corporation as expressing.

The Weibo submit at first put Ms. Peng at the heart of a media storm. Notice expanded practically two months later on Nov. 14, when Steve Simon, chairman of the WTA, stated the corporation hadn’t been equipped to attain Ms. Peng right after recurring attempts, and he referred to as for an investigation into her allegation.

In the job interview posted Sunday, Ms. Peng stated she individually wrote an e-mail in Chinese to Mr. Simon. She additional that an English-language version posted on Nov. seventeen by China’s condition-run broadcaster CGTN, expressing that the sexual-assault allegation was untrue and that “everything is fine,” was a translation.

“In terms of this means and the facts in it, there is no big difference,” she stated of the two versions.

Mr. Simon stated at the time it was sent that the e-mail elevated extra problems about her protection and whereabouts. Fellow tennis stars, which includes Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams, posted messages of problem for her, employing the

Twitter

hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai.

The incident also unleashed a international storm of suspicion about Ms. Peng’s overall health and protection. Mr. Simon stated global force could help explain the condition and protect Ms Peng. As a outcome, the WTA introduced its suspension of potential tournaments in China earlier this month. Human-rights corporations referred to as for a boycott of the Winter Olympics, which are established to begin in Beijing in February, pointing to China’s human-rights report and insisting that Ms. Peng is not genuinely absolutely free.

Representatives of China’s International Ministry have stated they are unaware of Ms. Peng’s allegations. Issues and solutions about Ms. Peng have been omitted from official everyday transcripts posted by the ministry. On China’s tightly regulated net, discussions of Ms. Peng’s condition have been muted.

The International Ministry has protested what it suggests are attempts to politicize the 2022 Olympic Game titles.

Ms. Peng’s job interview came several hours right after Chen Qingqing, a journalist at the nationalist condition-owned World-wide Occasions, posted a 7-second movie clip on Twitter—which is blocked in China—showing Ms. Peng with retired Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, who is now chairman of the Chinese Basketball Affiliation.

Ms. Chen wrote that she had acquired the movie from a pal and that it had been taken on Sunday morning during the International Ski Federation’s Cross-State Snowboarding China City Tour in Shanghai, the exact same function at which Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao interviewed Ms. Peng.

The tennis participant, sporting a black down jacket and a crimson T-shirt emblazoned with the people for China, also stated to the reporter from Lianhe Zaobao that she had been dwelling freely.

“Why would I be beneath surveillance? I’ve usually been pretty absolutely free,” Ms. Peng stated.

Requested about two movie phone calls the International Olympic Committee stated it had with her in late November and early December, Ms. Peng confirmed that the to start with one took location at her property and stated she was grateful to IOC President Thomas Bach and IOC Athletes’ Fee chair Emma Terho, who carried out the simply call with her.

The to start with simply call with the IOC happened several hours right after Ms. Peng appeared at Beijing’s Countrywide Tennis Heart and in footage witnessed on social media of her acquiring a food at a cafe.

At the time, the IOC stated Ms. Peng was protected at property in Beijing and that she had questioned for her privateness to be highly regarded, with no specifically addressing the sexual-assault allegations.

On Sunday, a Twitter account purporting to belong to Ding Li, one of the folks who had earlier shared pics of the food with Ms. Peng, posted a series of pics of the tennis participant with a variety of folks, which includes Mr. Yao. Mr. Ding didn’t promptly reply to a ask for for remark. Mr. Yao did not promptly reply to a ask for for remark submitted to his basis.

On Nov. 26, the account also posted a screenshot of an e-mail dated Nov. 22, signed with Ms. Peng’s title and resolved to a Mr. Simon, expressing she had sent an e-mail to him and a few other folks on Nov. seventeen. The e-mail also stated she hoped folks wouldn’t sensationalize her non-public company.

When questioned about her programs to journey overseas, Ms. Peng stated in her job interview: “If you want me to go overseas and observe a tournament, that would be typical. But you can’t say I should go overseas to establish a little something. What would I be executing by going overseas, inform me.”

Compose to Sha Hua at [email protected]

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