Chinese tennis player Peng denies allegations of sexual harassment

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BEIJING – Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai said Sunday that she had never accused anyone of her sexual harassment, and that the social media posts she made earlier this month were misleading.

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Peng’s well-being has become a major concern in tennis circles around the world and rights groups as she appears to have been accused of sexually assaulting former Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli in the past. After writing that, she disappeared from public view for nearly three weeks.

“First, I need to emphasize one very important point. I never said or wrote that anyone was harassing me. I need to emphasize this point,” Peng said in a video posted by Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore media. .

Peng’s speech Sunday was the first time she had spoken on camera. Photos to the public. She spoke outside the cross-country skiing event in Shanghai she attended.

She said her post on Weibo, a social media site like Twitter, which was quickly removed, was “a personal matter.”

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Peng, 35, said in the video that “people are very misunderstood” about her Weibo posts. She did not elaborate.

She also said she went to live in a house in Beijing without guidance. She did not mention Zhang.

Reuters has not been able to reach Peng since her Weibo announcement.

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Earlier this month, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), which sought direct contact with Peng, said it would suspend competition in China immediately due to concerns over Peng’s treatment and the safety of other players.

The WTA did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.

China did not comment directly on Peng’s initial announcement, but said after the WTA’s move to suspend competition in China that it “opposed sports politics.”

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Zhang did not comment on the matter.

Discussions on the issue that arose as Beijing prepares for the Winter Olympics in Beijing This February was heavily suppressed in China.

Peng said in a video posted Sunday that she wrote a personal letter last month to WTA chief Steve Simon, in which she denied allegations of an attack, and that the English translation by Chinese state media was correct.

Simon said at the time that he “had a hard time believing” that Peng had actually written the email or believed in her identity.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has had two video talks with 35-year-old Peng.

At the Shanghai event on Sunday, Peng appeared on the 5th floor balcony watching athletes from various sports, including former NBA basketball player Yao Ming, and watched for about 20 minutes, according to Lianhe Zaobao.

She wore a black sweater with the Chinese flag and a red T-shirt with Chinese characters.

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