Peng Shuai case: Chinese tennis player speaks out for first time on rape accusations she has made

Since November 2, every photo or sequence showing Peng Shuai has been a closely scrutinized event. The Chinese tennis player, who had spoken of having been raped by a top Beijing regime leader, disappeared from circulation before making a few sporadic appearances, regularly raising doubts.

This time, it is a video which was published, in which Peng Shuai, for his first public speech on this matter, refutes any sexual assault. “First, I want to stress a very important point: I have never said or written that anyone who sexually assaulted me”, she told the Singaporean newspaper Lianhe Zaobao on the sidelines of a sporting event, in Shanghai, Sunday, December 19.

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There have been “Many misunderstandings” on a case “Private”Peng Shuai, wearing a red t-shirt and black jacket, added in a cell phone interview. She also states that the letter she wrote to the president of the WTA, the body that manages the women’s tennis circuit, was “Entirely of [sa] own will ” and that she “Has always been very free”.

The doubts of the WTA

The WTA did not seem convinced about the fate of the player after this interview. “These appearances [publiques] do not allay the WTA’s concerns about its well-being and ability to communicate without censorship or coercion. “, said the organization, in a statement.

On November 2, a lengthy post on the player’s official Weibo account (China’s equivalent of Twitter) described a heartfelt but thwarted sentimental relationship with Zhang Gaoli, before and after he took on a high-ranking position at the top of the world. Communist regime. Married and 40 years his senior, Mr. Zhang was from 2013 to 2018 one of the seven most powerful politicians in China. The post was promptly censored and the 35-year-old had disappeared from radar screens for three weeks, causing concern in the tennis world.

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Sunday, before the broadcast of the interview with former world number 1, Qingqing Chen, a reporter for the nationalist daily Global Times, posted a seven-second video on social media showing the player chatting with former basketball star Yao Ming. The reporter claims that the video was sent to her by a friend and was shot at a Nordic skiing promotion event in Shanghai.

Chinese media outlets in recent weeks have repeatedly published photos of the player, along with a screenshot of an email attributed to her and where it is written. ” everything is fine “. But their authenticity raised serious doubts. Following the public disappearance of Peng Shuai, the WTA had canceled all its tournaments in China in early December and demanded a transparent investigation into the player’s accusations.

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Peng Shuai case: Chinese tennis player speaks out for first time on rape accusations she has made