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WTA remains concerned about Peng Shuai

After a monitored interview by Peng Shuai during the Olympics, the women’s tennis organization WTA is still concerned about the 36-year-old and is calling for the case to be investigated again.

The Chinese tennis player met IOC President Thomas Bach at the Winter Games in Beijing and in the interview with “L’Équipe” again denied a sexual assault by a top Chinese politician.

“It’s always good to see Peng Shuai, whether it’s in an interview or attending the Olympics. However, her recent interview doesn’t alleviate any of our concerns about her original post on November 2,” WTA Chief Executive Steve Simon said in an Message. Peng Shuai took a brave step with her allegations. “We have requested a formal investigation into their allegations by the appropriate authorities and an opportunity for the WTA to meet me Peng in confidence to discuss their situation.” The German women’s national coach Barbara Rittner replied via Twitter: “Proud of our WTA.”

Concern for Peng Shuai’s well-being

The case has moved the world since the former world number one in doubles published allegations of sexual assault by a top Chinese politician on the social network Weibo in November. The post was deleted soon after. Since then, athletes, politicians and human rights activists have expressed concern for Peng Shuai’s well-being. She later denied making the allegations. However, their statements seemed posed. She told L’Équipe: “I never said that anyone sexually harassed me in any way.” Again she spoke of a “huge misunderstanding”.

The recent interview also seemed staged. The French newspaper itself pointed out the conditions that had to be met by the Chinese National Olympic Committee (COC): Peng would speak in Chinese, the questions had to be submitted in advance, and the interview was to be published without further comment. A representative of the COC was also present during the conversation, who translated the questions and answers.

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