PENG SHUAI has denied she was sexually assaulted by a former Chinese government official in her first interview with Western media during the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Shuai, the 2013 Wimbledon doubles champion, has been the subject of great interest in the global sports community since The 1,600-word post appeared on the social networking platform Weibo issued statements against former deputy prime minister Zhang Gaoli.
The message was quickly deleted and this led to tennis stars like Novak DjokovicSerena Williams and Naomi Osaka Call for more information about her whereabouts and safety.
WTA, the governing body for women’s tennis, has been unable to contact the 36-year-old star for months and has since decided to withdraw future tournaments from China.
Over the weekend, the French publication L’Equipe was given permission to interview Peng in a hotel room in Beijing.
It is understood that Peng was accompanied by Wang Kan, chief of staff of the Chinese Olympic Committee, which raised concerns about whether she would be able to speak freely.
Former world No. 14 Peng said: “I don’t think I know it all (global interest) because I don’t watch the news from the foreign media much.
“I can’t read in English but I’ve heard of it. However, I never thought there would be such anxiety, and I want to know why?
“Sexual assault? I never said that anyone had sexually assaulted me in any way.
“There was a big misunderstanding in the outside world after this post.
“I don’t want the meaning of this post distorted anymore. And I don’t want any media hype around it.
“I never disappeared. Everyone can see me. I never disappear.
“It’s just that many people, like my friends or people from the IOC have been texting me, and simply cannot reply to so many messages.
“But I always keep in close contact with my close friends.
“I spoke to them, I replied to their emails, I also spoke to the WTA.
“At the end of the year, the communication IT system on their website was changed, many players had difficulty logging in, but my colleagues and I always kept in touch.
“That’s why I don’t know why the news that I’m gone goes viral.”
Finally, Peng met IOC President Thomas Bach after being allowed to join the closed system.
The meeting took place over dinner on Saturday night at the Olympic Club in Beijing, and was attended by former IOC Athletes Committee Chairman Kirsty Coventry.
That same evening, Peng attended a China-Norway clash at the Ice Cube but no official photos were released.
An IOC statement said: “Peng Shuai has informed the President that she will attend several events at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games in the coming days.
“Late that evening, she and Kirsty Coventry attended a mixed pool match between China and Norway.
“During the dinner, the three talked about their shared experience as athletes at the Olympic Games, and Peng Shuai talked about her disappointment at not being able to qualify for the Olympics. Tokyo Olympics 2020.
“In this context, she also shared her intention to travel to Europe once the COVID-19 pandemic is over and the IOC President invited her to Lausanne to visit the IOC and the Olympic Museum, to continue the conversation about their Olympic experience.
“Peng Shuai accepted this invitation.
“Kirsty Coventry and Peng Shuai also agreed that they would stay in touch.
“And all three agreed that any further discussion of the content of the meeting would be decided by her.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4628662/peng-shuai-ioc-bach-winter-olympics/ Peng Shuai meets IOC president Thomas Bach at the Winter Olympics but denies she ever claimed sexual assault