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Peng Shuai tells newspaper in China that she never wrote of being sexually assaulted despite post that said different

BEIJING — Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has informed a Singapore newspaper that she never said she wrote of having been sexually assaulted, despite a November social media post attributed to her that accused a former prime Communist Party official of having pressured her into intercourse.

The Lianhe Zaobao Chinese-language newspaper posted video of Peng it says was taken Sunday in Shanghai in which she said she has been primarily staying at house in Beijing however was free to come back and go as she selected.

“First of all, I need to emphasize one thing that is essential. I’ve never said that I wrote that anybody sexually assaulted me. I want to emphasise this level very clearly,” Peng informed the newspaper’s reporter.

The reporter didn’t ask how or why the prolonged and extremely detailed Nov. 2 post appeared or whether or not Peng’s account had been hacked.

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The paper said it interviewed Peng at a promotional occasion for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, which start Feb. 4. She was filmed on the commentary deck of a facility the place she watched a freestyle ski competitors alongside former NBA star Yao Ming and different Chinese sports activities figures.

Peng dropped out of website after the accusation in opposition to former vice premier Zhang Gaoli briefly appeared on her verified Weibo social media earlier than being swiftly eliminated. Screen pictures of the post had been shared throughout the web, drawing widespread concern about Peng’s security from politicians, fellow tennis stars and the World Tennis Association, which introduced it was suspending all occasions in China indefinitely.

Following the posting, the three-time Olympian and former Wimbledon champion appeared standing beside a tennis court docket in Beijing, waving and signing oversize commemorative tennis balls for kids. The international arm of state TV additionally issued an announcement in English attributed to Peng that retracted her accusation in opposition to Zhang.

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WTA chief govt Steve Simon questioned the emailed assertion’s legitimacy whereas others said it solely elevated their concern about her security. In the Lianhe Zaobao interview, Peng said she wrote the assertion in Chinese and it was later translated into English however that there was no substantive distinction in that means between the 2 variations.

Zhang, 75, was a member of the celebration’s omnipotent Politburo Standing Committee till 2018 and a prime lieutenant to president and celebration chief Xi Jinping. He has not appeared in public or commented on Peng’s accusation.

Simon said the transfer to place a halt to the tour’s play in China, together with Hong Kong, got here with the backing of the WTA board of administrators, gamers, tournaments and sponsors. It was the strongest public stand in opposition to China taken by a sports activities physique – and one that may value the WTA hundreds of thousands of {dollars}.

Simon has made repeated requires China to hold out an inquiry into the 35-year-old Peng’s accusations and to permit the WTA to speak instantly with the previous No. 1-ranked doubles participant and proprietor of titles at Wimbledon and the French Open.

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The IOC has taken a different tack, with prime officers saying they imagine Peng is ok after video chatting along with her.

The controversy surrounding Peng has added to protests over Beijing’s internet hosting of the Winter Games as a result of of the federal government’s human rights abuses.

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