Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai refuted the sexual assault accusation she made against a Chinese politician, saying the media misinterpreted her statement.

Peng made headlines and sent the tennis world into shock when she accused a top Chinese government official of sexually assaulting her. The world stood with the former doubles champion, and the entire incident triggered a conflict between the Chinese government and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

The WTA decided to boycott all events in China, but their stand is now in jeopardy. Peng recently came out and addressed her claims, saying that it did not happen.

Peng refuted her sexual assault allegation, saying what has been spread wasn’t true.

In an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe at a hotel in Beijing as quoted by IOL, the paper asked, “In the text we could see in Europe, you accused someone of sexual assault. What did you really write? We don’t understand.

Peng replied in disbelief, saying, “Sexual assault? I never said anyone had sexually assaulted me in any way.” She didn’t elaborate.

FILE - Peng Shuai says she never said anyone sexually assaulted her. Photo: Paul Crock/AFP
Peng Shuai (pictured) says she never said anyone sexually assaulted her. Source: AFP

She had written in a now-deleted post on Weibo, “Why did you take me to your house and force me into having relations with you?” She had however admitted that her relationship with the politician was a one-off affair that was consensual.

All in her court

The discussion of the issue has been strictly curtailed in China. If one searches for Peng’s name, it shows no search results.

Peng has not updated her Weibo account since the post was removed. When asked about the infamous interview, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said it was up to the tennis player to decide.

“We said what we had to say, the communication is up to her, it is her life, it is her story and this is why the communication is up to her,” he said, who revealed that he had with Peng in Beijing on Saturday.

Read more: China opposes WTA’s backing of Peng’s sexual assault claims


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