The latest big name in tennis to have added her voice to the Peng Shuai drama is none other than former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka.
The Japanese star recently join other big names like Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber in expressing concern over the fact that Shuai has not been heard from since making allegations of sexual assault against a former high-placed Chinese government official.
Earlier this month, Shuai revealed in a Weibo post how a former Chinese vice-premier had coerced her into having sex with him. Shuai named the official to have been the now 75-year-old Zhang Gaoli, who back in 2013 at the time of the incident, had been a prominent member of the ruling Communist Party’s notorious Politburo Standing Committee.
The social media post was removed shortly after it had gone live.
The WTA, who picked up on the news shortly after, have since been urging Chinese authorities to treat Shuai’s allegations with the necessary seriousness and respect.
WTA chief Steve Simon said this week a recent email seen circulating on state media sites, which email had also been sent to the organisation, has only served to create even more worry about Shuai’s physical safety.
Simon explained in a statement how he’s having a hard time believing that the email had actually been written by Shuai.
In the email, Shuai supposedly claims that she’s at home and resting, and not missing as assumed. The email also goes on to deny the allegations of sexual assault had in fact come from Shuai.
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