Concerns mount over Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai
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Peng Shuai, 35, has been missing since November 5. Shuai has been a prominent name in the tennis game, winning the Wimbledon doubles at one point in her career.
Messages of support from all across the world of tennis poured in after the news that the tennis star had gone missing following the allegations.
Serena Williams posted: “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.”
Naomi Osaka wrote: “Not sure if you’ve been following the news but I was recently informed of a fellow tennis player that has gone missing shortly after revealing that she has been sexually abused…
“Censorship is never OK at any cost, I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and OK.
“I’m in shock of the current situation and I’m sending love and light her way.”
But a beacon of hope has been given to the situation after state media in China unveiled new pictures showing the star as being happy.
Shen Shiwei took to Twitter to share the snaps of the missing 35-year-old.
They tweeted: “Peng Shuai’s WeChat moments just posted three latest photos and said “Happy weekend”.
“Her friend shared the three photos and the screenshot of Peng’s WeChat moments.”
Linked to this tweet were three photos of the sportswomen smiling with a cat.
But Tommy Walker, a reporter in Asia, was not convinced by the tweet.
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He tweeted: “She needs to do a live video for anyone to believe that.
“Those photos could have been taken weeks ago, and her friend shared them?
“And why did her friend have to share them?
“Don’t defend something you know little about.”
WTA Chief Executive Steve Simon warned that they may take the necessary punishments to China if any harm is done to Ms Shuai.
In a statement to Reuters on Friday, Mr Simon said they were at a “crossroads” with China.
Mr Simon said: “We continue to call for independent and verifiable proof that Peng Shuai is safe and that her sexual assault allegation will be investigated fully, fairly and without censorship.
“If not, the WTA is prepared to do what is right.”
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