Sincere or forced?
On Sunday, Peng Shuai gave his first public interview since the case of his disappearance.
While last November, the Chinese tennis champion said she had a forced relationship with former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, this time she refuted any sexual assault with the Singaporean newspaper Lianhe Zaobao, a daily in the language Chinese but inaccessible in China.
“First, I want to stress a very important point: I never said or wrote that someone had sexually assaulted me,” said Peng Shuai, on the sidelines of a sporting event in Shanghai on Sunday.
There has been "a lot of misunderstanding" on a "private" matter, added the champion, wearing a red t-shirt and a black jacket, during an interview filmed on a cell phone.
Peng Shuai assured the newspaper that she was free.
The WTA still doubts
Words that did not seem to convince the WTA, the body that manages the women's tennis circuit. "These (public) appearances do not allay the concerns of the WTA about its well-being and its ability to communicate without censorship or coercion," the organization said in a statement, while also on Sunday, a Chinese journalist from the Nationalist daily Global Times posted a seven-second video on Twitter of the player chatting with former basketball star Yao Ming.
In early December, the WTA had canceled all its tournaments in China and called for a transparent investigation into the player's accusations.
A decision that came after the message accusing Zhang Gaoli was erased by Chinese censorship and especially because the former world No. 1 doubles had then no longer appeared in public for several weeks.
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A fault ?