“Peng Shuai’s interview does not alleviate our concerns”

Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai waves during the Women's Big Air Final at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

The case of the sexual assault complaint of the Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has returned to the front page of the sports world with the celebration of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. The celebration of the same has allowed Peng Shuai to appear again in public in the Olympic competitions, to have been able to meet in person with the president of the IOC Thomas Bach and to have also granted his first interview with an international media such as L’Équipe, in which he denied having been a victim of sexual assault and that she had disappeared after her controversial post on Weibo on November 2, a post that she herself assured that she deleted because she wanted to.

Peng Shuai’s interview in L’Équipe has not convinced within the WTA and this Monday its CEO, Steve Simon, published a letter in which he assured that, despite the latest images of the tennis player, he maintains his concern for the Peng Shuai State. “It’s always good to see Peng Shuai, whether in an interview or attending the Olympics. However, his recent in-person interview with him does not alleviate our concerns about his post on November 2.”

Simon emphasizes again that he gives truth to Peng’s claim in that post, where she accused former Vice President Zhang Gaoli of having sexually assaulted her “To reiterate our point of view, Peng stepped forward when she went public with the allegation that she had been sexually assaulted by a former Chinese government leader.”

For this reason, Simon asks for a private meeting with Peng Shuai, while stating that the WTA is still concerned about the state of the tennis player. “As we would have done with any of our players, We have requested a formal investigation into the allegations from the relevant authorities and also an opportunity for the WTA to meet with Peng in private and discuss her situation. We stand firm in our position and our thoughts remain with Peng Shuai.”

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