Peng Shuai denies making a sexual assault claim

Peng announced in a social media post last month that former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli compelled her into sex during an on-off romance relationship that lasted for years

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Chinese Tennis star Peng Shuai
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty mages)

In her first media interview since her charges provoked fears for her safety, Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai denied alleging a top Communist Party leader sexually harassed her, contradicting her November social media post, and said she is living peacefully.

Peng said in a video uploaded by the Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao that she has been mostly feeling isolated at her home in Beijing but is free to come and go as she wishes.

At a sporting event in Shangai on Sunday, Peng said

First of all, I want to emphasize something that is very important. I have never said nor written anything accusing anyone of sexually assaulting me.

I would like to emphasise this point very clearly


The remarks, however, did not calm the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), which raised “serious concerns about her well-being and ability to interact without censorship or pressure on Monday.

Peng announced in a social media post last month that former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli compelled her into sex during an on-off romance relationship that lasted for years.

The post was swiftly removed from the Chinese internet, but several individuals have made screenshots which were later shared on Twitter, causing a worldwide controversy.

After that, the former Wimbledon and French Open doubles champion vanished from the view of the public for three weeks so as not to be questioned by the press about her sensitive statement.


Her declaration generated widespread concern about her safety, with the UN, the White House, and fellow tennis players all expressing their concern.

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