‘Unsettling’: Fears continue for Peng Shuai after latest video

After being photographed and filmed with Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, Peng Shuai has now apparently given a Chinese-language interview

Peng Shuai with Peng Shuai est apparue deux fois sur Internet dimanche, notamment dans une vidéo d’un média de Singapour où elle déclare qu’il ne faut pas s’attendre à la voir à l’étranger dans les semaines à venir. © Rights Reserved

The world of tennis has expressed its continuing concern for the safety of Peng Shuai after a new interview with the Chinese star was released.

In it, Peng apparently denies that she made any allegations of sexual assault – and that her post on Chinese social network Weibo had been misunderstood prior to its removal.

“First, I need to stress one point that is extremely important, I have never said or written that anyone has sexually assaulted me, I have to clearly stress this point,” Peng said in the video posted by Lianhe Zaobao, a Chinese-language Singapore media outlet.

Her post in November had suggested that she had been coerced into sex by former Chinese vice premier, Zhang Gaoli, as well as having a consensual relationship with him. After that post disappeared from public view, so did Peng.

Since then, videos have been released primarily by Chinese state-controlled media with the intent of assuring Peng’s safety. However, this latest footage has increased rather than abated worry.

Chris Evert described it as “unsettling” on Twitter, while the WTA issued a formal statement.

“We remain steadfast in our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation, without censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault, which is the issue that gave rise to our initial concern,” it read.

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