Chinese star Peng Shuai will retire from professional tennis, denies making sexual assault accusations

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who has been missing from the public eye for months following a social media post she made accusing a former Chinese vice premier of sexual misconduct, announced her retirement from professional tennis and denied ever claiming anyone had assaulted her in an interview this week.

In an interview with French magazine L’equipe, Shuai discussed the public outcry over her allegations and her disappearance since November.

“This post has given rise to a huge misunderstanding from the outside world,” Peng said, referring to her November post on Weibo, a Chinese microblog Weibo in November about her former sexual relationship with vice premier Zhang Gaoli. “I hope that we no longer distort the meaning of this post. And I also hope that we don’t add more hype on this.”

“I never said anyone had sexually assaulted me in any way,” said Peng. She added, “My life [since the Weibo post] has been what it’s supposed to be: nothing special.”

As she spoke, Chinese Olympic Committee official Wan Kan sat beside Shuai. The interview took place in a Chinese hotel inside the “closed loop” the COC has set up to prevent spread of the coronavirus during the Winter Olympics.

Regarding her apparent disappearance in the wake of her social media post, which she claims to have deleted herself, Peng said, “It’s just that a lot of people, like my friends, including from the IOC, messaged me, and it was quite impossible to reply to so many messages.”




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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