French police investigate French paper over tennis scandal

Written by Staff Writer at CNN

Police searched for the editor of a French-language sports paper in France on Thursday after a post on its website sparked an outcry by linking China’s most-watched tennis player to a prostitution ring.

Within hours of a verified post posted on Wednesday night linking Wuhan-based Peng to an operation that sold brides for 1,000 euros ($1,160) a day, the French media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said it had received credible information that the newspaper had tried to contact the player and that police were carrying out a probe.

French tennis player Caroline Garcia reacts after winning the third set against Peng Shuai during their quarterfinal match at the Wuhan Open tennis tournament in Wuhan, China, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2017. Credit: Imaginechina via AP

The match was held in Wuhan, China, earlier this month. France’s Le Monde newspaper, among other sources, had earlier linked the paper to the scandal in an article that did not identify who had leaked the information.

On Thursday morning, Rezo scored another rebuke for sharing a post on its site that read: “Peng is a regular, helps arranged brides pay their debt and meet her both in and out of court. Peng, ‘only a Chinese player,’ promotes this mens group…”

However, at a press conference, France’s Competition Authority and the Federal Police along with their Chinese counterparts, searched the offices of Rezo. No one was arrested and the press conference had ended.

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