“Sexual assault? I never said that anyone made me submit to a sexual assault,” the newspaper quoted her as saying. “This post resulted in an enormous misunderstanding from the outside world,” she also said. “My wish is that the meaning of this post no longer be skewed.”
Nothing to see here, move on.
That was the message that Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai delivered Monday in a controlled interview in Beijing that touched on sexual assault allegations she made against a former high-ranking member of China’s ruling Communist Party. Her answers — delivered in front of a Chinese Olympic official — left unanswered questions about her well-being and what exactly happened, AP reports.
The interview with French sports newspaper L’Equipe and an announcement that International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach met Peng for dinner this weekend seemed aimed at allaying sustained international concerns about the three-time Olympian and former No. 1-ranked tennis doubles player. Fears for Peng’s safety have threatened to overshadow the Winter Olympics underway in Beijing.
Peng told L’Equipe that the concerns were the result of “an enormous misunderstanding.” But the format of the interview appeared to limit follow-ups about the allegations and their aftermath. L’Equipe said it submitted questions in advance, a precondition for the interview, but also got to ask others that were unplanned. A Chinese Olympic committee official sat in on the discussion, translating Peng’s comments from Chinese, the newspaper said. It said it also used an interpreter in Paris to ensure the accuracy of the comments that it published in French.
© Copyright LaPresse