Peng Shuai: Chinese state media claims tennis player has not disappeared but WTA remains concerned | Tennis news

Peng Shuai has not been seen or heard from in public since he claimed on social media that China’s previous deputy prime ministers had sexually assaulted her; WTA chief: “The statement issued on Peng Shuai only raises my concerns about her safety and whereabouts”

Last updated: 17/11/21 20:26


Chinese state media claim that tennis player Peng Shuai has not disappeared – and that she does not accuse China’s former deputy prime minister of having sexually assaulted her.

But WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) chairman and CEO Steve Simon says he remains extremely concerned about the player’s welfare.

Peng has not been seen or heard from in public since November 2, when she claimed on social media that Zhang Gaoli had sexually assaulted her.

It has triggered a widespread alarm about her safety – and on Wednesday night, Chinese state media released an email that it claims is from Peng to the Women’s Tennis Association.

It said, “Hello everyone, this is Peng Shuai

“As for the latest news published on the WTA’s official website, the content has not been confirmed or verified by myself and it was released without my consent.

“The news in that release, including the allegation of sexual assault, is not true,

WTA has received an e-mail pretending to be from the missing tennis player Peng Shuai

WTA has received an e-mail pretending to be from the missing tennis player Peng Shuai

“I’m not missing, nor am I insecure, I have rested at home and everything is fine. Thanks again for caring about me.

“If the WTA publishes more news about me, please confirm it with me and release it with my consent.

“As a professional tennis player, I thank you all for your camaraderie and consideration. I hope to promote Chinese tennis with all of you if I have the opportunity in the future.

“I hope Chinese tennis gets better and better.

“Again, thank you for your consideration.”

However, Simon doubts that the email is actually from the tennis player.

The WTA says it is not convinced that Peng Shuai wrote the email it received

The WTA says it is not convinced that Peng Shuai wrote the email it received

His response read: “The statement issued today by Chinese state media regarding Peng Shuai raises only my concerns regarding her safety and whereabouts.

“I have a hard time believing that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received, or believe what is attributed to her.

“Peng Shuai showed incredible courage by describing an allegation of sexual assault against a former top official in the Chinese government.

“The WTA and the rest of the world need independent and verifiable proof that she is safe. I have repeatedly tried to reach her through several forms of communication, without success.

“Peng Shuai must be allowed to speak freely, without coercion and intimidation from any source. Her allegation of sexual assault must be respected, investigated with full transparency and without censorship.

“Women’s voices must be heard and respected, not censored or dictated.”

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