Tennis player Peng Shuai goes missing after accusing ex-Chinese leader of rape, tennis world worried

the essential Since November 4, the international tennis player Peng Shuai has not given any sign of life, after accusing a former Chinese leader of rape. The body that oversees the women’s professional circuit, the WTA, calls for “justice to be done”.

Peng Shuai, doubles winner of Roland Garros in 2014, 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 2018. The young woman would have participated in a game of tennis at the home of this former high Chinese leader.

“I was very scared. That afternoon, I first refused. I kept crying. In fear and confusion (…), I gave in and we had intercourse “she wrote. The message would have remained posted 14 minutes before being censored, reports Le Monde.

Since then, the player has not given any more news. A worrying silence. With the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai, the tennis community is worried about the fate of Chinese player Peng Shuai on social media.

The tennis community worries

“Yes, these accusations are very disturbing. I have known Peng since she was 000, we should all be worried, that is 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 000; we should all be concerned; this is serious; where is she? Is she safe? Any information would be appreciated. Ud 21 d ude4f

— Chris Evert ( @ChrissieEvert) November 14, 2021

The Frenchwoman Alizé Cornet also relayed on her account the message #WhereIsPengShuai on Saturday, adding “let’s not remain silent”, while the Briton Liam Broady, using the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai also, wrote on Sunday: “I can not believe that this kind of thing happens in the 20 th century “.

Hundreds of anonymous people asked themselves the same question, emphasizing the silence of the International Federation (ITF) and the WTA, the body that oversees the women’s professional circuit. The WTA finally spoke on Sunday in a statement through its CEO Steve Simon, stating that “the recent events in China concerning a WTA player, Peng Shuai, are of great concern.”

“His accusation concerning the conduct of a former Chinese leader, involving a sexual assault, must be treated with the greatest seriousness”, assures the American in this text, which demands that “justice be done”. “We expect this matter to be dealt with properly, which means that the allegations must be investigated fully, fairly, transparently and without censorship,” says Steve Simon.

Seen more than 100 times

On November 4, China blocked all reference to a post attributed to Peng Shuai, after the former duplicate world No. 1 accused a former top Communist leader on social media of coercing her into sex, before making her his mistress.

While censorship quickly wiped the message off the Chinese internet, screenshots spread like wildfire.

AFP had not been able to determine if the message had been written by Peng Shuai and his entourage had then refused to comment. Zhang Gaoli, for his part, had not reacted publicly. According to Weibo data, the message, posted on the player’s official account, had been viewed over 100 000 times, but the content was not specified.

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