Yao Ming Says He And Peng Shuai “Happily Chatted” At Event Last Month

Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming said on Monday that tennis star Peng Shuai, who became a cause for concern after accusing a former senior politician of sexually assaulting her, was in good spirits when they were appeared at an event last month.

“She looked good. We chatted happily,” said Yao, when asked in Beijing on Monday about his impressions of Peng at a cross-country skiing event they both attended last month in Shanghai.

The Women’s Tennis Association has suspended tournaments in China due to what it says are concerns over Peng’s safety, which it says have not been alleviated by his public appearances. The issue has cast a shadow over the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Yao said he and Peng have known each other for almost 20 years. However, he did not comment directly on the controversy that erupted last year after Peng, a former doubles world number 1, appeared to allege that a former vice premier, Zhang Gaoli, had sexually assaulted her. in the past.

After this post, she was absent from public view for nearly three weeks. At the December event which Yao also attended, Peng told a news outlet that she never accused anyone of sexually assaulting her and that her social media post was misunderstood. She has not spoken publicly since.

Zhang did not comment on the matter, and Beijing censored discussion of it on the Internet.

Speaking to the media less than three weeks before the opening of the Olympics, Yao said he expected China to win medals in speed skating and snowboarding, but asked Chinese fans to be patient as the country is relatively new to winter sports.

Yao, the most famous Chinese athlete in the world, was the face of the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. He retired from basketball and now acts as an ambassador for ice and snow sports for China.

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