WTA asks for more assurances despite Peng Shuai “video appearance”

WTA chief Steve Simon said “the video alone is insufficient”

Peng Shuai WUHAN, Sept. 23, 2019 Peng Shuai of China reacts during the women’s singles first round match between Garbine Muguruza of Spain and Peng Shuai of China at the 2019 WTA Wuhan Open tennis tournament in Wuhan of central China’s Hubei Province, Sept. 23, 2019

Peng Shuai appeared on video on Saturday, ostensibly for the first time since her disappearance, but the WTA issued a statement soon after in which it demanded more assurances of the Chinese player’s safety.

The 35-year-old had not been heard of or seen in public since Nov 2, the day she posted an accusation of sexual assault against a former high-ranking Chinese official.

The disappearance of Peng, a former doubles world No 1, has captured the attention of the tennis world and the world as a whole, with the US government and the United Nations among those to call for clarification on her whereabouts and proof of her safety.

In a Twitter post on Saturday, Chinese state-affiliated media, who earlier this week posted an email purporting to be from Peng to the WTA – the veracity of which was immediately disputed – posted two videos showing Peng in a restaurant, and claiming it showed clearly that they were from Saturday in Beijing.

WTA wants more assurances of Peng’s safety

The WTA, which has suggested it could pull all its tournaments out of China if the situation is not resolved to Peng’s benefit, was not buying it, though, with chairman and CEO Steve Simon issuing another statement.

Also on Saturday, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal joined the hordes of players and former players calling for Peng’s safety to be assured.

New York Times journalist Chris Clarey then posted a copy of an email sent by the WTA chairman and CEO to China’s Ambassador to the United States in which he laid his cards out on the table.

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