Spanish tennis star Garbiñe Muguruza fears that it will never be fully clear what happened to Peng Shuai last year. In early November, the 36-year-old Chinese accused former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli of sexual abuse on the social medium Weibo. Her worrying message soon disappeared from the internet and the tennis star was not heard from again for more than two weeks.
“We are now a few months further. I thought for a while we would find out what’s going on, but now I think it’s going to be very difficult to get to the truth,” Muguruza said ahead of the Australian Open. “It will also be very difficult for her to speak freely. It is a complicated country.” The 28-year-old Spanish is the number 3 in the world and won the WTA Finals in Mexico at the end of last year.
Peng Shuai was not heard from for a while in November after she made her allegations. It sparked the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai on social media. The tennis association WTA, the White House and the United Nations, among others, called on China to clarify the situation of the doubles specialist, who won two grand slam tournaments. The WTA initially contacted Peng Shuai by e-mail, but doubted whether she had written those messages herself. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) reported at the end of November that chairman Thomas Bach had spoken with the Chinese via video link, but that did not allay the concerns.
The WTA then decided to cancel all tournaments in China for the time being. Since then, some photos and videos of Peng Shuai have surfaced through Chinese media, which had to show that she is okay. In an interview with a Chinese-language newspaper, the tennis star reported that she can move freely. She denied accusing anyone of sexual assault.
WTA concerns about Peng Shuai’s situation remain high. “We remain deeply concerned about her well-being and her ability to communicate without censorship or coercion,” the WTA said late last year. “We remain steadfast in our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation, without censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault.” Peng Shuai played her last match on the WTA Tour in early 2020. She will be missing from the Australian Open next week.
Muguruza fears the truth about Peng Shuai will never come out
Source link Muguruza fears the truth about Peng Shuai will never come out