Peng Shuai Disappearance: WTA still ‘not convinced’ as China releases her video having dinner, says ‘let us speak to her’

Peng Shuai appears at China tennis event, WTA still concerned
Peng Shuai appears at China tennis event, WTA still concerned

Peng Shuai Disappearance – Video not convincing says WTA: Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, whose whereabouts have been a matter of international concern for weeks, attended a tennis tournament in Beijing on Sunday, according to official photos published by the tournament organised by China Open. But that has failed to convince Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) chief Steve Simon – Follow all LATEST & LIVE Updates on Peng Shuai’s Disappearance on InsideSport.IN

Peng Shuai Disappearance: WTA still ‘not convinced’ as China releases her video having dinner, says ‘let us speak to her’

Video not convincing says WTA: A video claiming to show Chinese player Peng Shuai out with friends is “insufficient” evidence of her safety, says Women’s Tennis Association chief Steve Simon.

On Saturday, Chinese state-affiliated media posted two clips on Twitter of Peng purportedly having dinner with her coach and friends in a restaurant.

“While it is positive to see her, it remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or external interference,” said Simon.

Simon has written to the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, asking him to discuss the “urgent issue” with high-ranking Chinese government officials “so it can be successfully resolved”.

The WTA chairman also requested for Peng to be allowed to leave China or speak directly to him in a live video call with nobody else present.

Peng can be seen among guests at the Fila Kids Junior Tennis Challenger Finals, dressed in a dark blue jacket and white trousers, according to the pictures published on the event’s official WeChat page.

Videos posted by Hu and a Global Times reporter showed her smiling, waving and signing autographs for children.

The 37-second video Hu posted appears to show Peng standing in a row of people being introduced to the audience.

An announcer says, “Two-time Grand Slam champion, former world number one in woman’s doubles – Peng Shuai!” She waves, smiling, and acknowledges applause.

Peng Shuai Disappearance – The Issue Explained: The former doubles world number had not been seen or heard from publicly since she said on Chinese social media on November 2 that former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli had coerced her into sex and they later had an on-off consensual relationship.

Peng, 35, has not been in direct contact with the WTA since making sexual assault allegations against a former China vice-premier two weeks ago.

The UK government said it was following the case closely and remained “extremely concerned”.

Neither Zhang nor the Chinese government have commented on her allegation. Peng’s social media post was quickly deleted and the topic has been blocked from discussion on China’s heavily censored internet.

World tennis bodies have expressed concern, with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) threatening to pull tournaments out of China. The United States and Britain have called for evidence of Peng’s whereabouts and safety.