Peng Shuai denies ever making a sexual assault claim

The supposedly missing Chinese tennis star has made a shocking admission in latest twist.

 Peng Shuai

The drama surrounding the conditions of the supposedly missing Chinese tennis player, Peng Shuai, has just taken on an interesting twist. Shuai has appeared in a video interview, the first since her now deleted social media post made the rounds about how former Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Ghaoli allegedly coerced her into having sexual relations with him. The post eventually went down amidst the furore it has generated worldwide, alongside her online presence, provoking allegations of the government trying to silence her in a bid to protect its official.

In the video interview, Shuai seems to be recanting on the claims made on her social media post, claiming that it has been widely misunderstood by the public. She explained in the interview "I have never said or written that anyone sexually assaulted me. This point must be emphasized very clearly". This statement clearly changes the complexion of the discussions around the “disappearance” of the tennis player.

The Chinese state has in no uncertain terms refuted the allegations on numerous occasions, insisting that Ms Peng has been safe and sound while also living freely. Although the Women’s Tennis Association has refused to believe those claims whilst also refusing to believe the statements made by Shuai as it is believed that the state could be monitoring her and making her say them. They appreciate that she was at least showing up "in a public setting". Whilst insisting that it did not "alleviate or address… concerns about her wellbeing and ability to communicate without censorship or coercion".

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