The former doubles world No.1 Peng Shuai landed in all sorts of trouble after posting a message on a Chinese social media platform named ‘Weibo’. In the post, Shuai accused China’s senior politician and Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of Sexual Assault.
Her post was deleted within the next 30 minutes and she disappeared for the next three months. During the time of her disappearance, the WTA received an email from Shuai which declared that the accusation made by her in the post was false and she is fine.
However, the WTA decided to continue with their inquiry and tried to find out the reality of the situation. WTA even decided to put a hold on all the tennis tournaments scheduled in China and Hong Kong. Shuai recently came out in an interview with L’equipe where she ensured that she is fine and took back the accusation made in the post by her. According to her, “My private life should not be involved in sports and politics”
Following Shuai’s interview, WTA CEO Steve Simon released WTA’s stand on the issue. In the statement, Simon declared that the WTA remains unmoved by the claims made by Peng Shuai and will continue with the investigation.
Peng Shuai’s request denied by WTA
Peng Shuai in her latest interview with L’equipe said, “First of all, I would like to thank all the ATP and WTA players, all the athletes and all the personalities in large numbers who cared about me. But I didn’t think there would be such concern and I would like to know: why such concern? I never disappeared, everyone could see me.“
“I never disappeared. It’s just that a lot of people, like my friends, including from the IOC, messaged me, and it was quite impossible to reply to so many messages. But with my close friends, I always remained in close contact. I discussed with them, answered their emails, I also discussed with the WTA.” Added Shuai
Shuai also made a request that her personal life shouldn’t be involved in sports and politics. She requested WTA, not to let tennis get affected due to the following investigation and lift the hold on the tournaments scheduled to be played in China.
“However, her recent in-person interview does not alleviate any of our concerns about her initial post from November 2nd. To reiterate our view, Peng took a bold step in publicly coming forth with the accusation that she was sexually assaulted by a senior Chinese government leader. As we would do with any of our players globally, we have called for a formal investigation into the allegations by the appropriate authorities and an opportunity for the WTA to meet with Peng – privately – to discuss her situation.” he added.
He ended his statement by saying, “We continue to hold firm on our position and our thoughts remain with Peng Shuai.”