‘Impossible to say’ – Peng Shuai interviewer still doubts her safety
One of the journalists who conducted the recent interview with Peng Shuai is not satisfied that the Chinese tennis star is free.
Marc Ventouillac was one of the pair of L’Equipe journalists who interviewed the two-time Slam doubles champion under the supervision of Chinese Olympic officials.
His comments surrounding her safety come after WTA CEO Steve Simon made clear that the organisation still wants unequivocal confirmation that Peng Shuai is safe and is not being coerced in any way.
“It’s impossible to say,” Ventouillac said when asked if the former doubles world number one is free.
“It’s a part of communication, propaganda, from the Chinese Olympic Committee,” he added to the Associated Press.
“It’s important, I think, for the Chinese Olympic Committee, for the Communist Party and for many people in China to try to show: ‘No, there is no Peng Shuai affair.’”
Shuai met with IOC President Thomas Bach for dinner before watching Chinese skier Eileen Gu win the gold medal in the freestyle skiing big air final.
WTA CEO Simon said: “Her recent in-person interview does not alleviate any of our concerns about her initial post from November 2.”
The organisation still wishes to meet Peng Shuai in person, privately and without censorship to ensure her wellbeing.
They are also pushing for an investigation into her allegations of sexual assault against former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli made on Weibo on 2nd November last year, allegations she recanted in the L’Equipe interview.
She said: “There was a huge misunderstanding in the outside world following this post.
“I don’t want the meaning of this post to be twisted anymore. And I don’t want any further media hype around it.”
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