China apparently suppresses tennis star's claim

Chinese authorities are apparently censoring a professional tennis star's purported confession that she had an extramarital relationship with a former vice premier.

Peng Shuai is a well-known tennis player who won a women's doubles title in Wimbledon.

She posted on the Chinese social media platform, Weibo, on Tuesday night that she had sexual relations with Zhang Gaoli when he was the leader of the major city of Tianjin.

Peng's unverified post argued that they lost contact, but that Zhang approached her again after his retirement from the Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee in 2017. She claimed that he forced her to resume the relationship.

The post was later deleted, but has been widely shared among Internet users.

It is rare in China for a sexual scandal involving a former top Communist Party official to surface.

Authorities are apparently wary of the fallout from the alleged scandal ahead of the sixth plenary session of the Central Committee that will be held next week.