Peng, a former No. 1-ranked player in women’s doubles who won titles at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014, dropped out of sight for weeks after her Nov. 2 posting, which was quickly removed, describing how she says former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli forced her into sexual relations.
“First and foremost, I must emphasize something. I have never said or wrote about anyone sexually assaulting me. That’s a very important point,” Peng told Lianhe Zaobao, a Singapore-based Chinese-language newspaper.
She called the events a “private matter” and said without elaborating that “people have many misunderstandings” about her original post.
The statements are in stark contrast to her original accusation describing an incident a decade ago when she was in her 20s and Zhang would have been in his mid-60s. Cornered in a room with Zhang, she said she “never gave consent” to intercourse and was “crying the entire time.”