Since November 2 there has been no news of the Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai. On that day Peng publicly denounced on the Weibo social network of having been subjected to sexual violence by former Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli.
The post with which Peng denounced the violence was deleted just 20 minutes after it was published. Her Weibo account has not been updated since then and the ability to comment on her posts has also been disabled. The cancellation of Peng's post was considered by many to be an act of censorship by the Chinese government.
No one from the Chinese tennis federation commented on Peng’s statements, nor was any indication given on a possible opening of an investigation against Zhang Gaoli. Meanwhile, the WTA also took a stand through the words of CEO Steve Simon: "Peng has shown great courage by making this story public and now we want to make sure that a full and transparent investigation is conducted.
Otherwise it would be an affront, not only to our players, but to the entire female gender. If we do not get the necessary results, we would be ready to take the big step of not doing any more business in China. It is an alleged violence against one of our players."
Recall that the post published by Peng was deleted after a few minutes for reasons still unknown. However, the position of the WTA, for a situation that is becoming more disturbing and dramatic hour after hour, would have necessarily had to use harsher words, and perhaps incite the IOC to start an investigation, with serious consequences on the entire sports movement if the expected answers did not arrive.
Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka also spoke out about the issue. Nole said: "She is a player that I have seen in various tournaments many times in the past. There is not much more to say about it. I hope she is found and is well.
It is a terrible situation. I can only imagine how she feels. her family since she disappeared. " Naomi Osaka posted on Twitter a post in which she said she was "in shock" at the disappearance of her colleague, and in which she condemned the Chinese government's censorship of Peng's accusations.
The situation once again shows the dark side of censorship: the hope is that WTA will do something concrete to see what lies at the bottom of this story.