Tennis stars Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic and other Chinese players are expressing concern for Peng Shuai, who He claimed that he was sexually abused. Before a former Chinese state leader removed his post about it.
Osaka tweeted on Tuesday after learning about Peng that she was “missing”, with the hashtag #WhereisPengShuai.
“Censorship is not good at any cost, I hope Peng Shuai and his family are safe and sound,” Osaka wrote. “I am shocked by the current situation and I am sending love and paving the way for it.”
Peng, who was once ranked No. 1 doubles by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), accused former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli of having sex with her despite repeated denials three years ago. Forced to establish. Peng, who had previously had an affair with Zhang while he was in office, also accused his wife of guarding the door when she was sexually assaulted. He made the claim earlier this month on the Chinese social media platform Weibo Post It was immediately removed, raising concerns about its safety.
On Wednesday, Chinese state-controlled media published an e-mail stating that Peng had told WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon that he was not missing.
The message read, “The news in this release, including the allegation of rape, is not true.” “I’m not missing and I’m not safe. I’m just relaxing at home and everything is fine.”
But Simon answered with one. Statement “The statement issued today by Chinese state media about Peng Shuai only adds to my concerns about its safety and whereabouts,” he said.
He continued: “I have a hard time believing that Peng Shui actually wrote the email we received or believed what is being attributed to him. “The WTA and the rest of the world need independent and credible evidence that he is safe. I have communicated several times. Trying to reach it through various forms, to no avail. “
Prior to the alleged statement, Chinese state media had suppressed all reports of the case. According to the Associated Press, Peng’s allegations marked the first time the #MeToo movement attacked senior members of the ruling Communist Party.
Censorship of the incident has taken the world of tennis by storm. Earlier this week, Djokovic, the No. 1 men’s tennis player, said he would “Shocked” And wished him a safe return. The WTA, the central body for women’s professional tennis, has called for a transparent investigation into allegations of sexual exploitation.
Steve Simon, chairman and CEO of WTA, said, “Peng Shuai, and all women deserve to be heard, not censored.” Said in a statement on Sunday. “The allegation that a former Chinese leader was involved in a sexual assault case should be taken very seriously. We commend Peng Shuai for his extraordinary courage and strength in coming forward.” It can be corrected. ”
A day later, Andrea Gaudenzi, chairman of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Said She has received assurances from the WTA that she is “safe and accountable” and will continue to monitor the situation.
“There is nothing more important to us than the safety of our tennis community. We are deeply concerned about the immediate safety of WTA player Peng Shuai and the uncertainty surrounding his whereabouts,” he said.
Peng has won 23 doubles titles at the Tour level, including Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014. She was a semi-finalist at the 2014 US Open.