ST. PETERSBURG, FLA —
The top of the ladies’s skilled tennis tour known as for a full investigation of sexual assault allegations made by a two-time Grand Slam doubles champion from China in opposition to a former prime authorities official in that nation.
Earlier this month, Peng Shuai, a former No. 1-ranked doubles participant, wrote in a prolonged social media put up that Zhang Gaoli, a former vice premier and member of the ruling Communist Social gathering’s omnipotent Politburo Standing Committee, had pressured her to have intercourse regardless of repeated refusals following a spherical of tennis three years in the past.
Her put up — which was faraway from her verified account on Wiebo, a number one Chinese language social media platform — additionally stated they’d intercourse as soon as seven years in the past and she or he had emotions for him after that.
“Peng Shuai, and all ladies, should be heard, not censored. Her accusation concerning the conduct of a former Chinese language chief involving a sexual assault should be handled with the utmost seriousness. In all societies, the conduct she alleges that passed off must be investigated, not condoned or ignored. We commend Peng Shuai for her exceptional braveness and energy in coming ahead. Girls all over the world are discovering their voices so injustices could be corrected,” WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon stated in an announcement launched by the tour on Sunday.
“We count on this problem to be dealt with correctly, which means the allegations should be investigated totally, pretty, transparently and with out censorship,” Simon stated.
Peng has gained 23 tour-level doubles titles, together with at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014. She was a semifinalist in singles on the U.S Open in 2014.
Her accusation was the primary in opposition to a distinguished authorities official because the .MeToo motion took maintain in China in 2018 earlier than being largely tamped down by authorities the identical yr.
Within the put up, Peng, 35, wrote that Zhang, now 75, and his spouse organized to play tennis in Beijing about three years in the past and that he later introduced her right into a room at his dwelling the place the assault occurred.
“I used to be so frightened that afternoon, by no means pondering that this factor may occur,” the put up stated.
Zhang retired in 2018 and has largely disappeared from public life, as is common with former Chinese language officers.