Shocked Osaka writes: Where is Bing Shuai?
Beijing Tennis star Naomi Osaka said she was shocked to hear about a fellow player who has remained silent since making sexual assault allegations against a former senior government official in China.
The former Japanese ranked first, The four-time main winner posted on social media on Wednesday to join those asking: Where’s Peng Shuai?
In a tweet on Twitter on Wednesday – under the hashtag WhereIsPengShuai – Osaka wrote: “Not sure if you’ve been following the news but I was recently notified of the loss of a fellow tennis player shortly after it was revealed that she had been sexually assaulted. Censorship is not okay at any cost.”
The 24-year-old Osaka, who hasn’t played at the Tour level since her US Open title defense ended in a third-round loss in September, said she hopes Peng and her family are “well and well.”
She wrote: “I am shocked by the current situation, I send love and light her way.”
Other prominent players, including men’s number one Novak Djokovic and the organizers of the men’s and women’s professional tennis tours, have called for a full investigation into the allegations made by the doubles champion at the Grand Slam.
In a lengthy social media post earlier this month, Ping wrote that the former deputy prime minister had forced her to have sex despite repeated refusals. The post has been removed from her verified account on Wiebo, a leading Chinese social media platform, and China’s fully state-controlled media has also cracked down on all reports regarding the case.
Reports of the allegations circulated overseas for more than a week before WTA President and CEO Steve Simon issued a statement saying, “Peng Shuai, and all women, deserve to be heard, not censored.”
“Her accusation of sexually assaulting behavior by a former Chinese leader should be treated with the utmost seriousness.”
Monday’s men’s tour followed, with ATP president Andrea Gaudenzi saying tennis authorities were “deeply concerned about the uncertainty surrounding the immediate safety and whereabouts of WTA player Peng Shuai.”
“We are encouraged by the recent assurances the WTA has received that it is safe and accountable and will continue to monitor the situation closely,” Godenzi said. “Separately, we fully support the WTA’s call for a full, fair and transparent investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Bing Shuai.”
Peng, 35, wrote that Zhang Gaoli, a former deputy prime minister and a standing committee member of the ruling Communist Party’s Politburo, forced her to have sex despite repeated refusals after a tennis tour three years ago. She said Zhang’s wife was guarding the door during the accident.
Her posts also said that they had sex once seven years ago and she had feelings for him after that.
As is usual for retired Chinese officials, the 75-year-old has withdrawn from the public scene after his retirement in 2018 and is not known to have any intimate professional or political relations with the current leaders.
Peng has won 23 doubles titles, including Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014. She reached the semi-finals at the US Open in 2014. Peng has not played in the first division since the Qatar Open in February. From 2014. Last year, before the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peng has also played in three Olympics – 2008, 2012 and 2016 – but the IOC has remained silent about her allegations. The International Olympic Committee and China will organize the Beijing Winter Olympics from February 4th.
It was her first accusation against a senior government official since the #MeToo movement took hold in China in 2018, before authorities largely dampened it that same year.
When Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian was asked during a daily briefing earlier this week about Peng’s allegations, he said, “I have not heard of the issue, and it is not a diplomatic issue.”
More AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.