Chinese Media Push 'Dubious Letter in Which Peng Shuai Refutes Sexual Assault Allegations

A state-affiliated Chinese outlet released a letter allegedly written by Peng Shuai in which she refuted the claims of sexual assault.

Social media went into a frenzy a few days ago over the alleged disappearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. Former Wimbledon and French Open doubles champion Peng Shuai was alleged to have gone missing after being censored by China for making allegations of sexual assault against a powerful politician. Now, China Global Television Network Europe's Twitter page has released a letter allegedly written by Peng Shuai refuting the sexual assault allegations.

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) had called for Peng's claims to be "investigated fully, fairly, transparently and without censorship" on Sunday, November 14. Peng Shuai's alleged disappearance left the social media talking post the allegations surfaced. In her new statement, however, Shuai refuted the claims in the news published by the WTA and assured her fans that she is fine and safe.

Peng Shuai
Peng Shuai Twitter

The news was released without Peng Shuai's consent

As reported by the Chinese outlet on Wednesday, November 17, Peng Shuai, in her statement, noted that the news released on the official website of WTA recently was not confirmed or verified by her and it was released without her consent. She further said the allegation of sexual assault in the news was not true. She also refuted the claims of her gone missing and assured her fans that she is safe and has been resting at her home. She further urged fans to verify any news about her published by the WTA and take her consent before publishing it. "As a professional tennis player, I thank you all for your companionship and consideration," she concluded.

Peng Shuai's statement
Peng Shuai's statement Screen grab - Twitter @BenRothenberg

WTA chief doesn't believe Peng Shuai wrote the letter

WTA chief, Steve Simon, however, questioned the statement alleged to have been released by Peng Shuai and noted that it raised his concerns about her safety and whereabouts. Simon stated that he is having a hard time believing that Peng Shuai wrote the letter herself.

Twitter called the letter 'dubious'

Twitterati didn't seem to believe either that the letter was written by Peng Shuai herself and called it "dubious." "Peng Shuai's life and liberty might be threatened by CCP for their so-called 'face-saving,'" one person wrote.

Another person cast doubt on the authenticity of the letter by asking why is there a "text-editing arrow at the front?"