SportPeng Shuai denies being abused: "I never said I...

Peng Shuai denies being abused: "I never said I was sexually assaulted"

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai now denies having been sexually abused by her country’s former deputy prime minister Zhang Gaoli . He says the way his social media posts were interpreted was a “huge misunderstanding.” « Sexual assault? I have never said that someone has made me suffer any sexual assault, “he insisted. When asked why the complaint message was deleted, she replied “because I wanted it that way.”

In addition, he revealed that he was having dinner with the IOC president, Thomas Bach , this weekend. At a “dinner” that they held on “Saturday, we were able to talk and exchange in a pleasant way,” the tennis player said in the interview published on Monday. “He asked me if I was thinking of returning to competition, what my projects were, what I anticipate, etc.,” Peng explained in the interview held in a hotel inside the Beijing Olympic bubble.

Dressed in red and black sportswear, Peng Shuai , 36, “appeared in good shape,” according to the journalists who conducted the interview, the first with an independent international outlet since November. She took the opportunity to say that “she never disappeared”, after spending weeks without appearing in public after denouncing last November on a social network that she had a forced sexual relationship for years with a Chinese leader.

“Simply, many people like my friends and people from the IOC sent me messages and it was impossible for me to answer so many messages. But I am still in close contact with my close friends, I have spoken with them, responded to their messages, and also with the WTA,” added the Chinese tennis player in the interview with the French newspaper L’Équipe.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has maintained a firm position to demand explanations from China about Peng’s situation after his complaint. Peng ‘s complaint was deleted from the Chinese social network Weibo, and the tennis player disappeared from the public eye for weeks, raising fears about her situation, until she appeared in a videoconference conversation with Thomas Bach on November 21.

On Thursday, two days before Bach and Peng’s meeting, the IOC said it would “support” the tennis player if she decides to demand the opening of an investigation into the allegation of a forced sexual relationship. “If she wants an investigation (on the complaint) it is sure that we will support her, but it has to be her decision, that is the way, it is her accusations,” Bach said at a press conference on the eve of the opening of the Games. from Peking.

Peng Shuai se retira

“My life has been as it should be: nothing special,” the tennis player commented when asked about her life after November. “First I would like people to really understand who I am: I am a normal girl, a perfectly ordinary tennis player. Sometimes I am serene, sometimes happy, sometimes sad. I can feel very stressed or under a lot of pressure. All the feelings and reactions that women have, I feel them too, “he said.

The IOC confirmed in a statement that Bach and former IOC swimmer Kirsty Coventry had met with Peng, noting that the tennis player would attend several events at the Beijing Games. “All three agreed that any communication about the content of the meeting would be left to their (Peng’s) discretion,” according to the statement.

The Olympic body indicated that the IOC reiterated the invitation to visit its Olympic headquarters in Switzerland. In the interview, the tennis player announced the end of her professional career, except, perhaps, “in a team of veterans,” she said with a laugh. «Tennis completely changed my life, it gave me joys, challenges and much more. Even if I don’t participate in professional competitions anymore, I will always be a tennis player.”

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