23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams says she is “devastated and shocked” over the disappearance of Peng Shuai.
Peng went missing in China after accusing China’s former vice premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault.
Former world No. 1 Williams is hoping Peng is sage and she has called for a proper investigation.
“I am devastated and shocked to hear about the news of my peer, Peng Shuai. I hope she is safe and found as soon as possible. This must be investigated and we must not stay silent. Sending love to her and her family during this incredibly difficult time,” Williams.tweeted.
Peng reportedly sent an email to the WTA
On Wednesday, the WTA said it received a mail that was claimed to be sent by Peng.
In the mail that was reportedly sent by Peng, the Chinese said the accusations she made were false and that she’s fine.
However, WTA CEO Steve Simon didn’t believe the mail was actually sent by Peng.
“The statement released today by Chinese state media concerning Peng Shuai only raises my concerns as to her safety and whereabouts,” WTA CEO Simon said.
” I have a hard time believing that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or believes what is being attributed to her. Peng Shuai displayed incredible courage in describing an allegation of sexual assault against a former top official in the Chinese government. The WTA and the rest of the world need independent and verifiable proof that she is safe. I have repeatedly tried to reach her via numerous forms of communication, to no avail.
“Peng Shuai must be allowed to speak freely, without coercion or intimidation from any source. Her allegation of sexual assault must be respected, investigated with full transparency and without censorship.
“The voices of women need to be heard and respected, not censored nor dictated to.”