Appearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai does not address our concerns: WTA

The Women's Tennis Association said it still wanted a "full, fair and transparent investigation, without censorship". PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS, AFP) - The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) said on Monday (Dec 20) that an appearance on Sunday by Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai did not address its concerns about her well-being.

"These appearances do not alleviate or address the WTA's significant concerns about her well-being and ability to communicate without censorship or coercion," the organisation said in a statement to news agency Agence France-Presse, saying it still wanted a "full, fair and transparent investigation, without censorship".

Ms Peng said on Sunday that she had never accused anyone of sexually assaulting her, and that a social media post she had made early last month had been misunderstood, Reuters reported.

In a post on China's Twitter-like Weibo platform, Ms Peng alleged that former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli - who is in his 70s - coerced her into sex during an on-off relationship spanning several years.

The post was quickly scrubbed from the Chinese Web, but not before screenshots were posted on Twitter, setting off a global outcry.

"We remain steadfast in our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation, without censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault, which is the issue that gave rise to our initial concern," the WTA said.

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