China Has Yet To Address Whereabouts Of Missing Tennis Star Peng Shuai After She Announced Member Of The Government Sexually Assaulted Her

The Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai is reportedly still missing after she accused a Chinese government official of sexually assaulting her earlier this month and as a result, the pressure has been slowly mounting for China to give an answer on the athlete’s whereabouts.

Peng, 35, has not been seen publicly since she accused a former member of the Communist party’s Standing Committee, Zhang Gaoli, of forcing her to have sex years ago.

china has yet to address whereabouts of missing tennis star peng shuai after she announced member of the government sexually assaulted her
Image via Shutterstock

Peng posted the accusation via Weibo on Nov. 2 but the post has since been deleted.

Sports and culture writer for The Athletic, Kavitha Davidson, who has been reporting on the tennis player’s disappearance, shared the latest developments in Peng’s story on Friday’s episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast.

Davison went on to reveal how “some of the biggest names in tennis” such as Naomi OsakaSerena Williams, Petra Kvitová, Nadia Petrova, and Andy Murray are using the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai to put “pressure on China to answer for her whereabouts.”

china has yet to address whereabouts of missing tennis star peng shuai after she announced member of the government sexually assaulted her
Image via Shutterstock

RELATED: Alyssa Milano Recalls How Childbirth Brought Up Moments Of Her Sexual Assault: ‘I Didn’t Forget About It’

The writer also shared how the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has also been vocal about their concern for Peng, especially since an email was released Wednesday by the country’s state-owned television broadcaster, CGTN, claiming to be written by Peng. The message says the sexual assault never happened and Peng has been resting at her home. 

“The head of the WTA has said, unequivocally, that they are very concerned about what has happened here. They do not believe that the email that Chinese state media put out is true,” Davidson revealed. “And they are threatening to pull their partnership with China, which is not a small thing.”

She continued, “The way that this email reads, and I don’t say this lightly, this sounds hyperbolic — but it reads a little bit like a hostage note,” before clarifying, “I’m not saying that necessarily Peng is being held hostage. But the WTA itself has said that they doubt the veracity of, and the origins of this email.”

china has yet to address whereabouts of missing tennis star peng shuai after she announced member of the government sexually assaulted her
Image via Shutterstock

RELATED: LAPD Mounts Investigation Into T.I. & Tiny Harris for Alleged Sexual Assault and Drugging of Woman

Peng’s email was released in English and sent to English-speaking media. Davidson also noted how the tennis star’s message had “not been covered by Chinese media locally, and it was obviously released by Chinese state media.” 

Davidson also revealed how China has been increasingly invested in tennis in the past decade and Peng’s disappearance could affect their partnership with WTA.

“A lot of future tournaments, juniors tournaments, and now the WTA finals, are held in China. They bid for those tournaments,” she said. “So for the WTA to threaten to pull out of, what was a 10-year deal signed in 2019, is a huge deal. You’re talking millions and millions of dollars.” 

About Mamas Uncut

Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.

.