Who is Peng Shuai, what is the controversy around her
Peng Shuai`s absence triggered widespread concern, with international sports stars and governments calling on China to provide proof that she was safe. United Nations had on Saturday called for an investigation into her disappearance while the Women`s Tennis Association (WTA) is willing to lose hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business in China for the tennis player.
Beijing: Peng Shuai is a Chinese professional tennis player, who had reportedly gone missing after accusing a senior Communist Party leader of sexual assault. Peng, 35, had disappeared from the public eye for almost three weeks after she made sexual assault allegations against the senior Chinese government minister.
Allegations of sexual assault
Peng, a doubles champion at Wimbledon and the French Open, had accused former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault according to screenshots of a since-deleted Weibo post dated November 2.
New video clips of Peng Shuai
The missing Chinese tennis star reappeared in public on Sunday at a youth tournament in Beijing, according to photos released by the organizer. Peng claimed that she was safe and well in a video call on Sunday. Earlier, on Saturday, a new video was released by the Chinese state media in which Shuai was seen with her friends in a restaurant having dinner."
I acquired two video clips, which show Peng Shuai was having dinner with her coach and friends in a restaurant. The video content clearly shows they are shot on Saturday Beijing time," Global Times Editor in Chief Hu Xijint tweeted along with the video posted on Twitter.
This video comes after Hu said he had confirmed through his sources that photos shared on Twitter by Chinese state media, purportedly showing Peng at home, depicted her "current state".
In a statement, the IOC said its President Thomas Bach had spoken to Peng for 30 minutes. "She was doing fine, which was our main concern," the IOC statement read.
Concerns over her disappearance
Her absence triggered widespread concern, with international sports stars and governments calling on China to provide proof that she was safe. United Nations had on Saturday called for an investigation into Peng Shuai`s disappearance while the Women`s Tennis Association (WTA) is willing to lose hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business in China for the tennis player.
China has faced pressure from the UN over Chinese tennis stars` whereabouts as the organization called for an investigation into her allegations of sexual assault, reported CNN.
The White House on Friday said that it is "deeply concerned" about the reports Peng Shuai was appeared to be missing. "We are deeply concerned about reports that Peng Shuai appears to be missing after accusing a former PRC (Peoples Republic of China) senior official of sexual assaults.
We join in the calls for PRC authorities to provide independent and verifiable proof of her whereabouts and that she is safe," said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. The women's professional tour threatened to pull events out of China unless the safety of the former No. 1 doubles player was assured.
Ranked world No. 1 doubles by the WTA, Peng is the first Chinese tennis player to achieve the feat in February 2014. She peaked at No. 14 of the singles rankings in August 2011. Peng has won two singles and 22 doubles titles.
Peng adds to a growing number of Chinese businesspeople, activists and ordinary people who have disappeared in recent years after criticising party figures or in crackdowns on corruption or pro-democracy and labour rights campaigns.