The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has called for a “full, fair, and transparent” investigation into the sexual assault allegations made by Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai against former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoi.
“Peng Shuai, and all women, deserve to be heard, not censored. Her accusation about the conduct of a former Chinese leader involving a sexual assault must be treated with the utmost seriousness. In all societies, the behavior she alleges that took place needs to be investigated, not condoned or ignored,” WTA Chairman and Chief Executive Steve Simon said in a statement.
Simon said that the recent events in China involving Peng Shuai were of “deep concern” and WTA expects the issue to be handled “properly.”
“Our absolute and unwavering priority is the health and safety of our players. We are speaking out so justice can be done,” Simon said.
Earlier this month, Peng, 35, said in a post on Chinese social media site Weibo that Zhang “forced” her to have sexual relations with him.
Peng’s allegation was the first against one of China’s senior political leaders.
Zhang, 75, served as the Chinese Vice Premier between 2013 and 2018.
Since posting the allegation, Peng has been reportedly missing.
In the lengthy post that was taken down in under 30 minutes, Peng acknowledged that she would not be able to provide evidence to support her claims.
Screenshots of Peng’s post have been censored and searches for Peng’s account have been blocked.
© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.