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A Less Than Straightforward Olympics For Xi

Visitors pose for photographs at the observation deck at the Olympic Tower in Beijing on Jan. 7.

Visitors pose for photographs at the observation deck at the Olympic Tower in Beijing on Jan. 7.

Photographer: Andrea Verdelli/Bloomberg

If there’s one Chinese sports star President Xi Jinping wouldn’t want in the Olympic spotlight next week, it’s Peng Shuai.

The former women’s tennis world doubles No. 1 lit a political firestorm in November after alleging an affair with a retired top Communist Party official in a social media post that raised concerns she’d been coerced into sex. She briefly disappeared from public view, leading the White House, the Women’s Tennis Association and some of the sport’s biggest stars to express concerns for her safety.