The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) says they are “very concerned” about the apparent disappearance of Chinese WTA player Peng Shuai.
Earlier in November, Peng accused a former Chinese Communist party vice-premier, Zhang Gaoli, of alleged sexual coercion three years ago.
Her Weibo social media account has since been disabled and she has not been seen since. That has prompted concern around the world, including from professional tennis players, about her safety and whereabouts.
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Chinese state media released a statement purportedly from Peng on Wednesday – which claimed she was “resting at home and everything is fine” – but the validity of it has been widely questioned.
“This is a very concerning situation, and we have written to the WTA offering our assistance in their efforts to establish the safety and wellbeing of Peng Shuai,” the LTA wrote in a statement.
“We are also keen to support any further measures that the tours can introduce to improve the safety of all players.
“The immediate priority is to establish that Peng Shuai is safe and well and, furthermore, that she is able to speak freely and not subject to any form of censorship.”
The hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai has gathered momentum on social media, with former British number one Andy Murray expressing his concern on Twitter earlier on Friday.
Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic are among the tennis stars to speak out over Peng’s apparent disappearance, while WTA chief Steve Simon said there should be a investigation "with full transparency and without censorship" into the allegations.
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