Peng Shuai: gave way to 'huge misunderstanding'09 February 2022 ❤ 1
Tennis star Peng Shuai says there has been a "huge misunderstanding" over a post in which she said she was forced into having sexual relations with a ex Chinese party leader.
The November 2021 social media post was swiftly deleted and Ms Peng disappeared for weeks, raising global concern.
But now, speaking to France's L'Equipe newspaper, Ms Peng says she never alleged she suffered a sexual assault.
However, the interview was done under strict control.
The BBC's China correspondent Stephen McDonell compared it to a propaganda exercise, saying it asked more questions than answers.
L'Equipe had to submit questions in advance, and the interview was conducted at the Winter Olympics under the presence of individuals from China's Olympic Committee who also translated what she quoted from Chinese.
Ms Peng told the outlet she was living a normal life - a line which has also been used by Chinese state officials about her previously. She also gave thanks for the concern given towards her.
"I would like to know: why such concern?... I never said anyone sexually assaulted me," she told L'Equipe.
The 36-year-old sporting star also hinted she could retire from professional tennis.
"Considering my age, my multiple surgeries and the pandemic that forced me to stop for so long, I believe it will be very difficult to regain my physical level," she told L'Equipe.
On 2 November, Ms Peng had published a 1,600-word essay on Chinese social platform Weibo where she accused former Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her to have sex with him.
The post detailed her relationship with him, but also included accusations that on at least one occasion she had felt obliged into having sex. The post was shared widely on Chinese social media before it was removed less than an hour after being published.
In the months that followed, Ms Peng denied making the accusations.
网球明星彭帅表示，对于她说她被迫与一名前中国共产党领导人发生性关系的帖子存在“巨大误解”。 2021 年 11 月的社交媒体帖子被迅速删除，彭女士失踪数周，引发全球关注。 但现在，彭女士在接受法国《队报》采访时说，她从未声称自己遭受过性侵犯。 然而，采访是在严格的控制下进行的。 英国广播公司驻中国记者斯蒂芬麦克唐纳将其比作宣传活动，称其提出的问题多于答案。 《队报》必须提前提交问题，采访是在冬奥会上进行的，中国奥委会人员也在场，他们还翻译了她引用的中文内容。 彭女士告诉媒体，她过着正常的生活——中国政府官员此前也曾使用过这种说法。她还感谢对她的关心。 “我想知道：为什么这么担心？......我从来没有说过有人对我进行性侵犯，”她告诉 L'Equipe。 这位 36 岁的体育明星还暗示她可能会退出职业网球。 她告诉《队报》：“考虑到我的年龄、多次手术以及迫使我停止这么长时间的大流行，我相信恢复我的身体水平将非常困难。” 11月2日，彭女士在中国社交平台微博上发表了一篇1600字的文章，指责中国前副总理张高丽强迫她与自己发生性关系。 该帖子详细说明了她与他的关系，但还包括至少有一次她觉得有义务发生性关系的指控。该帖子在中国社交媒体上被广泛分享，但在发布后不到一个小时就被删除。 在随后的几个月里，彭女士否认了这些指控。