‘I’m still worried about her’ – WTA star calls for further clarity on Peng Shuai’s safety and well-being
Alize Cornet feels she is unable to determine “what is the truth and what is lies” regarding the Peng Shuai sexual assault controversy.
Former Wimbledon and French Open doubles champion Peng Shuai attracted global attention when she accused former Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into a sexual relationship. Peng then subsequently disappeared and was neither seen nor heard from publicly for two weeks.
Peng made her original allegation through Chinese social media website Weibo, but her post was removed just 30 minutes after being posted.
After China failed to alleviate concerns and cooperate with the Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA) requests for a “full, fair and transparent investigation,” WTA chief executive Steve Simon took the stern decision to withdraw all events from China, including the prestigious WTA Finals.
Recently, concerns grew exponentially when a pro-Beijing news outlet published a video to Twitter in which Peng claimed her original post was “misunderstood” and retracted her accusations.
Now, in a press conference following her first round loss at the Melbourne Summer Set, Alize Cornet said “I’m still a little bit worried about her [Peng Shuai].
“I have to say that this situation still makes me feel uncomfortable, and I don’t know how she’s doing.
“I really don’t know what to think about it anymore. I don’t know where is the truth and where are the lies.
“I’m really happy that all these people followed me and the turn it took was really unexpected, like the reaction of Steve Simon and everything that followed was really, really huge.
“I’m not sure that it changes something [for Peng]. It’s tough to know what the effect was on her situation. It’s not very clear … I’m just hoping for the best and hoping that she’s fine. I feel I don’t have the power to do something more.”
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