In her first public interview after stating that a top Chinese official pressured her into having sex, Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai denied making a sexual assault allegation.
Ms Peng drew international outrage when she vanished from view after making the allegations public.
She has since stated that there were many misunderstandings concerning the position.
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) expressed worry that she is still being censored by the government.
Ms Peng clarified in a video interview with Lianhe Zaobao, a Singaporean Chinese-language newspaper: “I’ve never claimed or written that I’ve been sexually attacked. This point must be made very emphatically. “
She accused former Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her to have sex with him in her original note, which she uploaded on the Chinese social media platform Weibo in November.
Ms Peng began what would become the most major cause of its sort in China’s slow-moving # MeToo movement with a 1,600-word statement on Weibo on November 2nd.
Mr Zhang was the recipient of the note, which stated that they were in a love connection and that he had coerced her into having sex.
The post was promptly removed from Weibo, but not before it became widely circulated. Her account is still restricted, with no media posts older than September 10th.
Ms Peng subsequently vanished from public view for weeks, raising concerns for her safety around the world. Other tennis stars, including Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams, and Novak Djokovic, have joined the #WhereisPengShuai campaign. The Women’s Tennis Association has led the charge for a probe into the first charges.
Following that, Chinese state media published photos of her as well as a widely disputed e-mail she allegedly sent to the WTA in which she stated, “everything is OK.”
However, many people believe the tennis star is being suppressed by the government.
The WTA has cancelled all of its tournaments in China due to the controversy, putting pressure on the IOC and other sporting organisations to follow suit. They have turned down the offer.