After an alleged rape and disappearance, Bing Shuai sparks controversy again

Ping’s safety, a three-time Olympic athlete, became a concern in November when she appeared to claim on social media that former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Qaoli had sexually assaulted her in the past.

In an interview with the French newspaper L’Equipe at a hotel in Beijing, Ping denied making the allegations.

The newspaper asked her: “In the publication that we can see in Europe, she accused someone of sexual assault. What did you really write? We don’t understand.”

“Sexual assault? I didn’t say that anyone sexually assaulted me in any way,” Peng replied, without elaborating.

In her post, which was deleted on China’s Twitter-like Weibo, Ping wrote: “Why did you take me to your house and force me to have relations with you?”, although she also described the relationship with Zhang as on and off and that it was also consensual.

The post prompted the WTA to suspend its tournaments in China and caused an international outcry over their safety.

Topics related to the scandal have been tightly censored in Chinese cyberspace, and searches for Bing’s name on Weibo still show no recent results.

Bing has not updated her Weibo account since the post was deleted.

‘big misunderstanding’

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, for his part, said it was up to Peng to speak about her position.

“We said what we should say, it’s up to her, she’s her life, it’s her story and that’s why it’s up to her,” said Bach, who had dinner with Peng in Beijing on Saturday.

Ping told the French newspaper that her social media posts had caused a “major misunderstanding”, echoing comments made by a Singapore media in December, and adding that she did not want “any further media hype” about it.

Ping was quoted as saying, “I would say that feelings, sports and politics are 3 very special things. My personal life should not be mixed with sports and politics.”

Ping, who is pictured wearing a red tracksuit with the letter China on it, has sought to allay concerns about her safety, saying her life since November has not been “special”.

She denied that she had “disappeared” after the uproar that occurred when she did not appear in public for weeks.

She also said that she was not aware of concerns expressed by the international community, such as the use of the hashtag (Ain Bing Shuai) on social media by some of the world’s best tennis players, including Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, because she did not watch much of the media. foreign and cannot read English.

The WTA, which said in December that Peng’s appearance did not address concerns about her safety, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Chinese tennis player’s recent comments.

The International Olympic Committee said in a statement Monday that Ping will attend several Olympic events. She added that she also plans to travel to Europe after the pandemic and visit the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland.

Peng also said that a previous knee injury that required several surgeries and her age made it unlikely that she would ever play professionally again.

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