Peng Shuai case: accusations, e-mail, concern … What we know about the disappearance of the tenniswoman

the essential Since November 4, international tennis player Peng Shuai has not given any sign of life after accusing a former Chinese leader of rape. New email, concern, threatening WTA … We explain what surrounds this affair.

Since November 4, international tennis player Peng Shuai has given no sign of life after accusing a former Chinese leader of rape . 21 years, the tenniswoman assured that he had forced her to have sex three years ago, before make her his mistress. This accusation was briefly posted on November 2 on the player’s official Weibo account, Chinese equivalent of Twitter, before being deleted by China. Since then, the player has sent a new email, the authenticity of which is not proven.

Disappeared after a statement on the networks

Peng Shuai, double winner of Roland Garros in 550, published, at the beginning of the month of November, a shattering statement on Weibo, a Chinese social network. She testified that she had been raped by former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli in 2014. China quickly blocked any reference to this message. Since then, the player has not given any more news.

The WTA, the organization that oversees the women’s professional circuit, finally spoke on Sunday in a statement through the intermediary of its CEO Steve Simon, indicating that “the recent events in China concerning a WTA player, Peng Shuai, are of great concern”.

To read also: Tennis player Peng Shuai disappears after accusing a former Chinese leader of rape, the tennis world worried

News in a press release

After days of silence, the young Chinese woman reportedly gave news, according to the Chinese state channel CGTN. Chinese television published this Wednesday 14 November evening an email that the sportswoman would have communicated to the management of the WTA.

In this press release, the tennis player would have changed his tune: “The information, in particular concerning the accusation of sexual assault, is false, the player would affirm. Thank you again for hearing from me. “The reservations surrounding this message are numerous and for good reason: its authenticity remains to be confirmed.

To read also: Disappearance of a Chinese tennis player: “Everything is fine” … why an email attributed to Peng Shuai raises concerns

On CNN, Steve Simon, the boss of the WTA reiterated his doubts about the authenticity of this message in which the champion declares “false” his accusations against Zhang Gaoli. “I do not believe at all that this be the truth, “Simon told CNN, calling the email in question” staged. “If she was forced to write it, if someone wrote it for her, We do not know it but until we talk to him in person we won’t be reassured, “said the WTA official.

The WTA boss threatens to take withdraw from China

In an interview with CNN on Thursday, WTA boss Steve Simon threatened to withdraw women’s tennis competitions from China, if the country does not clarify the matter. “We are quite ready to withdraw (from China) our activities and face all the complications that arise,” said the boss of women’s tennis. “Because it is. is (rape accusations) more important than business, “Simon told US TV station. Foreign Affairs said they were completely ignorant of this affair, which they declined to comment on, arguing that it was not a diplomatic file.

L concern of the tennis community

The st world tennis player, the American Serena Williams, said this Thursday 17 November “devastated and shocked” by the Chinese player Peng Shuai’s situation. “I am devastated and shocked (…), writes the former world No. 1 on social networks. I hope she is safe and that she will be found as soon as possible. It must be done under investigation and we must not remain silent. “

I am devastated and shocked to hear about the news of my peer, Peng Shuai. I hope she is safe and found as soon as possible. This must be investigated and we must not stay silent. Sending love to her and her family during this incredibly difficult time. #whereispengshuai

— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) November 18, 2021

With the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai, the tennis community is worried on social networks about the fate of Chinese player Peng Shuai. “Yes, these accusations are very disturbing. I have known Peng since she was years, we should all be worried, it’s serious, where is she? Is she safe? Any information would be appreciated, “wrote ex-American champion Chris Evert on Sunday on her Twitter account.

Yes, these accusations are very disturbing. I’ve known Peng since she was 14; we should all be concerned; this is serious; where is she? Is she safe? Any information would be appreciated. Ud 83 d ude4f

— Chris Evert (@ChrissieEvert) November 14, 2021

The Frenchwoman Alizé Cornet also relayed on Saturday on her count the #WhereIsPengShuai post, adding “let’s not be silent”, while Briton Liam Broady, using the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai as well, wrote on Sunday: “I can’t believe this stuff is happening at 21 th century “.

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