The Chinese tennis player who disappeared after a social media post now wants people to stop believing her allegations.
Peng Shuai denies that she accused a senior Chinese official of sexually assaulting her.
"First of all, I want to emphasize something that is very important. I have never said that I wrote that anyone sexually assaulted me. I need to emphasize this point very clearly," Shuai said in an interview with Lianhe Zaobao, a Singapore-based Chinese language paper.
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Shuai alleges the post, which inspired an international response, was a "private matter" and "people have many misunderstandings" about it. However, Shuai did not elaborate further on what those misunderstandings entailed.
Shuai's remarks, the first time the player has addressed the allegations of assault, did not mention her alleged assailant, former Chinese vice premier, Zhang Gaoli, or comment on the particulars of her statement.
Shuai made news in early November when she posted on Chinese social media alleging assault by Zhang. The post was quickly deleted, but not before the post was screenshotted and shared across Chinese platforms. Shuai disappeared from public view after her post and did not reappear until Nov. 21, when she appeared in photos at a youth tournament.
Shuai has appeared on several social platforms to decrease international concern for her safety, including regular contact with the International Olympic Committee.
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However, the appearances have not convinced the Women's Tennis Association, which canceled all tournaments in China due to the country not acknowledging the allegations of sexual assault.
The Women's Tennis Association has not publicly commented on Shuai's latest comments and did not respond to requests for comment from the Washington Examiner.