Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai may have been hoaxed – reports

Peng Shuai is one of the five Chinese players in the women’s singles draw at Wimbledon

The email in which Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai apparently admits to match-fixing in her matches might have been a hoax, say reports.

According to a report in local broadcaster CCTV, the player said a private email address might have been used to leak the information.

Police say they are investigating the claims.

A phone number listed for Peng, 30, and her agent in the Chinese capital Beijing said their lines were blocked.

Top-seeded Peng, currently ranked 25th in the world, withdrew from Wimbledon following her shock second-round defeat by American Varvara Lepchenko on Tuesday.

China’s tennis association confirmed they are investigating the claims.

However, BBC Chinese service journalist Joven Wang said he had been unable to contact Peng and was unable to corroborate the claims in the email.

Earlier this year, Peng tweeted an angry response to allegations in an article by former Wimbledon player Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Tennis player Juan Carlos Ferrero was quoted as saying: “She cannot cheat, because she just cannot match you one-to-one on court. It would be impossible. Now she is making herself a laughing stock on social media.”

In a news conference in London on Thursday, Organising Committee chief executive Richard Lewis condemned claims that match-fixing was rife in the sport.

British player Andy Murray accused tennis authorities of a “lack of communication” over allegations that tennis was a “sport where corruption is accepted”.

After winning his Wimbledon semi-final against American Sam Querrey, the world number two was asked whether he was concerned about match-fixing in the sport.

“I think if the sport is made that it’s corrupt, then the sport is corrupt. It doesn’t make the players corrupt. It makes the sport corrupt. We have to fight that and make sure we are on the right side of it,” he said.

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