Women’s tennis boss “remains deeply concerned” for Chinese player Peng Shuai

The president of the WTA, which manages the women’s tennis circuit, “Remain deeply worried” As for the freedom of speech of the Chinese player Peng Shuai who had accused a senior leader of her country in early November of forced sex, a spokesperson for the institution told AFP on Saturday.

Steve simon “Remains deeply concerned about Peng’s freedom from any censorship or coercion and has decided not to contact her again via email until he is certain that his answers are personal and not those of his censors”, said the spokesperson.

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“Steve Simon contacted Peng Shuai through various communication channels. He sent her two emails, but it was clear that his answers were influenced by others ”, explained the spokesperson.

“Can she express herself freely?” »Concern is mounting around athlete Peng Shuai

On the other hand, she did not wish to return to information from the BBC based on the statements of a “Friend” of the player and that she sent an email to Steve Simon, thanking him for his concern, but asking him not to intervene in order to let her ” calm “.

Charges against former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli

The 35-year-old sportswoman, doubles champion at Roland Garros in 2014, had published in early November on the Chinese social network Weibo a long message on her relationship with the former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli, 40 years her senior. In this text in the form of an open letter quickly censored on the Chinese internet, she spoke at length about her feelings towards the former leader, retired since 2018. She reproached him in particular for having forced her to a sex three years ago.

Many stars of world tennis, from Chris Evert to Novak Djokovic and several Western countries, notably France and the United States but also the European Union and the UN, have asked Beijing to shed light on Peng’s fate. Shuai. The young woman reappeared last weekend in a restaurant in Beijing and during a tennis tournament in the Chinese capital, according to videos published by official media.

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On Sunday, she also spoke by videoconference with the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach. According to the IOC, Peng Shuai explained that she was “Safe and sound at her home in Beijing but that she would like her privacy to be respected”. And on Tuesday, it was Beijing who called for no “Politicize” or “Hairpin” the Peng Shuai case, in a rare official reaction to the accusations made by the player.

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