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Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai recants Weibo statements

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Chinese Tennis star Peng Shuai said that the Weibo post where she claimed to have been sexually assaulted by a senior official in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) caused a “huge misunderstanding.” She now says she never said that she was sexually assaulted.

In November 2021, Peng wrote a 1,600-word essay on Weibo, accusing Zhang Gaoli, a former vice-premier, of forcing her to have sex.

The post was widely shared on social media. But it was swiftly deleted from Peng’s account and Peng was censored from the internet in the country.

The tennis star also disappeared for a few weeks.

In a recent interview with French newspaper L’Equipe, Peng said she was never sexually assaulted. But the interview was highly controlled.

The paper had to send the questions in advance and the responses were quite inadequate.

“I would like to know: why such concern?… I never said anyone sexually assaulted me,” she told L’Equipe.

Peng added that the Weibo post had “given rise to a huge misunderstanding from the outside world.”

She claimed that she was the one who deleted the post because she “wanted to.” However, she did not explain how the outside world misunderstood the post.

Peng also told the paper that she was “living a normal life.”

The 36-year-old athlete also suggested that she could be retiring from tennis.

“Considering my age, my multiple surgeries, and the pandemic that forced me to stop for so long, I believe it will be very difficult to regain my physical level,” she told L’Equipe.

In the Weibo post, she wrote a statement in mandarin that could be translated as: “You took me to your house and raped me” or “You took me to your house and forced me to have sex with you” or “You took me to your house and pressured me into having sexual relations with you.”

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