Rafael Nadal has also raised his concerns for the whereabouts of missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai.
He told the French newspaper L’Equipe: “I follow the news and read the articles about Peng Shuai. Even though I don’t have all the information, the most important thing is to find out whether she is OK. All of us in the tennis family hope to see her back with us soon.”
Peng Shuaai wrote in a lengthy social media post on Nov. 2 that she was forced to have sex three years ago with Zhang Gaoli in his home despite repeated refusals. Zhang, 75, is a former vice premier who was a member of the ruling Communist Party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee. The post was quickly deleted from her verified account on Weibo, a leading Chinese social media platform, but screenshots of the explosive accusation were shared on the internet.
Chinese state media shared a video of Peng dining in Beijing, a day after it claimed the tennis star shared three photos on the Chinese social-media platform WeChat. Global Times editor Hu Xijin, who posted the video on Twitter, said the dinner took place Saturday and included Peng’s friends and coach.
The video comes after Xijin tweeted Peng was “freely” staying at home and would “participate in some activities soon” on Friday.
While WTA CEO Steve Simon said seeing Peng in the video was a “positive” development, he described the evidence as “insufficient” and remains “concerned about Peng Shuai’s health and safety, and that the allegation of sexual assault is being censored and swept under the rug.
“It remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or external interference,” Simon said.