Chinese Tennis Star Peng Shuai Denies Making Sexual-Assault Accusations

HONG KONG—Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai denied accusing anybody of sexual assault, suggesting a worldwide wave of problem for her safety and effectively-becoming was the consequence of misunderstandings.

“I’ve by no means claimed, or prepared about anybody possessing sexually assaulted me. This is quite essential and requirements to be clear,” claimed Ms. Peng in a six-minute online video interview with Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao, a Chinese-language publication operate by state-managed

Singapore Push Holdings Ltd.

, that was posted on the net Sunday.

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

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

China’s Peng Shuai in Melbourne, Australia, final yr.


Andy Brownbill/Involved Push

Her terms follow a Nov. two publish that appeared on Ms. Peng’s confirmed social-media account, which described an on-and-off partnership with former Chinese Vice Leading

Zhang Gaoli

that lasted for some decades, and was occasionally consensual and occasionally associated coercion. The publish alleged that in a single instance Mr. Zhang compelled Ms. Peng to have sexual intercourse with him, but it didn’t use the Chinese phrase for sexual assault to describe the come across.

The Nov. two publish disappeared soon after about twenty minutes. Even though Ms. Peng’s social-media account remains on the net, its commenting perform has been disabled and her title is blocked in searches.

Ms. Peng’s interview has not eased worries about her, the Women’s Tennis Affiliation claimed.

“We continue to be steadfast in our phone for a total, fair and transparent investigation, without having censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault,” the organization claimed.

Some intercontinental tennis stars also claimed they were unconvinced by the online video. “Total and utter BS,” eighteen-time Grand Slam champion

Martina Navratilova

wrote on a


in reaction to the online video.

“This is… unsettling…,”

Chris Evert,

an additional winner of eighteen Grand Slam titles, wrote in her individual reaction on Twitter.

The Weibo publish in the beginning positioned Ms. Peng at the heart of a media storm. Focus expanded practically two months afterwards on Nov. 14, when

Steve Simon,

chairman of the WTA, claimed the organization hadn’t been capable to reach Ms. Peng soon after repeated tries, and he identified as for an investigation into her allegation.

In the interview published Sunday, Ms. Peng claimed she personally wrote an e-mail in Chinese to Mr. Simon. She added that an English-language model published on Nov. seventeen by China’s state-operate broadcaster CGTN, indicating that the sexual-assault allegation was untrue and that “everything is great,” was a translation.

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

Mr. Simon claimed at the time it was sent that the e-mail elevated far more worries about her safety and whereabouts. Fellow tennis stars, which includes

Naomi Osaka


Serena Williams,

posted messages of problem for her, applying the Twitter hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai.

The incident also unleashed a worldwide storm of suspicion about Ms. Peng’s health and fitness and safety. Mr. Simon claimed intercontinental strain could assist make clear the scenario and safeguard Ms Peng. As a consequence, the WTA declared its suspension of future tournaments in China before this thirty day period. Human-rights companies identified as for a boycott of the Winter season Olympics, which are established to commence in Beijing in February, pointing to China’s human-rights report and insisting that Ms. Peng is not truly absolutely free.

Associates of China’s Foreign Ministry have claimed they are unaware of Ms. Peng’s allegations. Queries and responses about Ms. Peng have been omitted from official daily transcripts published by the ministry. On China’s tightly controlled world wide web, conversations of Ms. Peng’s scenario have been muted.

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

Ms. Peng’s interview arrived hrs soon after Chen Qingqing, a journalist at the nationalist state-owned Global Moments, posted a seven-next online video 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 gained the online video from a good friend and that it had been taken on Sunday early morning all through the Worldwide Ski Federation’s Cross-Nation Skiing China City Tour in Shanghai, the same celebration at which Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao interviewed Ms. Peng.

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

“Why would I be below surveillance? I’ve usually been quite absolutely free,” Ms. Peng claimed.

Requested about two online video calls, the Worldwide Olympic Committee claimed it had with her in late November and early December, Ms. Peng verified that the initially a single took location at her residence and claimed she was grateful to IOC President

Thomas Bach

and IOC Athletes’ Commission Chairwoman

Emma Terho,

who performed the phone with her.

The initially phone with the IOC transpired hrs soon after Ms. Peng appeared at Beijing’s Countrywide Tennis Middle and in footage witnessed on social media of her possessing a meal at a restaurant.

At the time, the IOC claimed that Ms. Peng was harmless at residence in Beijing and that she had asked for her privateness to be highly regarded, without having straight addressing the sexual-assault allegations.

On Sunday, a Twitter account purporting to belong to Ding Li, a single of the persons who had before shared images of the meal with Ms. Peng, posted a sequence of images of the tennis player with different persons, which includes Mr. Yao. Mr. Ding didn’t promptly react to a ask for for remark. Mr. Yao didn’t promptly react 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, indicating she had sent an e-mail to him and three other persons on Nov. seventeen. The e-mail also claimed she hoped persons would not sensationalize her non-public enterprise.

When asked about her ideas to travel abroad, Ms. Peng claimed in her interview: “If you want me to go abroad and watch a match, that would be ordinary. But you just can’t say I really should go abroad to establish a little something. What would I be undertaking by going abroad, convey to me.”

Produce to Sha Hua at [email protected]

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