WTA Tour

Peng accused of 'stalking' doubles partner in corruption row

2018-08-13 09:56
Peng Shuai (AFP)

Paris - Belgium's Alison Van Uytvanck on Sunday accused Peng Shuai of "stalking" her in the controversy which saw the Chinese tennis star banned and fined in a Wimbledon corruption row. 

Van Uytvanck had been due to play women's doubles with Peng at Wimbledon in 2017 but the Chinese was accused of then trying to dump the Belgian for another partner after the sign-in deadline. 

Peng was banned for six months and fined $10 000 by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) who said the 32-year-old "used coercion and offered the possibility of financial reward" to convince Van Uytvanck to pull out. 

Peng, who was the number one doubles player in February 2014, had the "offer" rebuffed and failed to play doubles at the All England Club. 

"My former coach Alain de Vos and me were stalked day and night by Peng Shuai who wanted me to withdraw from doubles," Van Uytvanck wrote in a statement posted on her Twitter account on Sunday. 

"She wanted to play with (Sania) Mirza after the deadline had already passed. My former coach went to the Integrity and they investigated this case with the utmost discretion. 

"Since I was a little girl tennis has been everything for me. Therefore I want this sport to be/stay clean in all ways." 

Peng had three months of her ban suspended, meaning she will be able to return to the tour after November 8. 

She denied that she attempted to strong-arm Van Uytvanck. 

"During the 20 years of my professional career I have never used any ways to force a partner to drop out of a match," Peng, who won the women's doubles at Wimbledon in 2013 and Roland Garros in 2014, wrote on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter on Friday. 

"It was completely her own action to drop out of the doubles. We never gave her any money to drop out of the match with a fake injury." 

Peng, whose former coach Bertrand Perret was also banned for three months for his role in the murky affair, said she is considering an appeal.

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