Tennis star Peng Shuai accuses her of making sexual assault allegations: ‘Many misunderstandings’

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, whose health has been the subject of international concern for weeks, said on Sunday that she had never accused a former top government official. Her sexual assault and her previous social media posts on the matter led to “a lot of misunderstandings.”

Peng’s latest statement comes a month after she first alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli in a post on Nov. 2. That post was quick. was taken down and censored by the Chinese media, and since then Peng has had little publicity.

World tennis bodies, human rights groups and various government leaders have since call for investigation into China’s handling of the matter, along with evidence that Peng was safe and acting on his own free will.

“First, I need to emphasize an extremely important point: I have never said or written that someone sexually assaulted me, I must make this point very clear,” Peng said in the statement. Just published on Sunday by Singaporean media Lianhe Zaobao. , according to Reuters.

Peng went on to say that the allegation originally posted on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform was a “privacy matter”, which caused “many misunderstandings” without further explanation. The 35-year-old tennis star did not mention Zhang.

Peng also said that she wrote a letter last month to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to deny the assault allegations, according to Reuters. At the time, WTA head Steve Simon said it was “very hard to believe” that Peng actually wrote the message for himself.

The video was shot during a cross-country skiing event in Shanghai and marks the first time Peng has tackled the issue on camera in public. Since the initial allegation, Ms. Peng has not appeared or spoken in public without the presence of a Chinese official.

Peng Shuai Denies Assault Report
Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai (above) on Sunday denied ever accusing anyone of sexual assault after weeks of international attention.
Phil Walter / Getty Images

Peng has so far participated in only two video calls with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but the organization has been criticized for not releasing transcripts or videos of those interactions. Earlier this month, the organization said it would arrange for a “personal meeting” with Peng to quell public outcry.

Peng’s latest video also comes just days after a US Olympic official called the situation “sad” and urged China to complete an independent investigation into the assault allegations.

“I think this is a sad situation,” Susanne Lyons, president of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), said Friday. New York Times. “One of the most important lessons we at USOPC have learned over the years is not only to listen to survivors of abuse, but to trust them and protect them from retaliation. So, this happens almost at home.”

In the midst of Peng’s controversy and other alleged human rights abuses, the United States has continued to do so diplomatic boycott of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympic Games. The boycott will still allow American athletes to compete in the games, but it is seen as a symbol of the stance against China. Tennis star Peng Shuai accuses her of making sexual assault allegations: ‘Many misunderstandings’

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