Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has denied accusing anyone of sexually assaulting her, despite her earlier claim on a social media post that a former Communist Party official had forced her into having sex.
“First, I need to stress one point that is extremely important, I have never said or written that anyone has sexually assaulted me. I need to emphasize this point very clearly,” Peng said on Sunday.
Peng added that her post on the social media site Weibo, which was immediately removed, was a “private matter” and that “people have many misunderstandings.”
Meanwhile, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) said that Peng’s appearance did not answer their concerns about her wellbeing.
“We remain steadfast in our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation, without censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault, which is the issue that gave rise to our initial concern,” the WTA said.
The global tennis community and rights groups became concerned with Peng’s wellbeing when she disappeared from public view for almost three weeks soon after posting about being sexually assaulted by Zhang Gaoli.
According to media reports, the discussion of the scandal, which emerged as Beijing prepares to stage the Winter Olympics in February, has been heavily censored in China.
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