BEIJING – Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has been staying in her own home “freely” and will make a public appearance “soon”, Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin, a prominent state-media journalist, said on Saturday.
Peng, the former number one doubles world ranking peng, has not been heard of publicly since she stated on Chinese social networking on Nov. 2nd that Zhang Gaoli (ex-vice-premier) coerced Peng to sex. They later had a consensual on-and-off relationship.
Zhang, as well as the Chinese government, have yet to comment on this allegation. Peng’s social media post was quickly deleted and the topic has been blocked from discussion on China’s heavily censored internet.
“In the past few days, she stayed in her own home freely and she didn’t want to be disturbed. She will show up in public and participate in some activities soon,” Hu wrote on Twitter.
The Global Times is published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party.
Hu said he had confirmed through his sources that photos shared on Twitter by a journalist working for Chinese state media, purportedly showing Peng at home, depicted her “current state.”
Reuters couldn’t independently confirm the authenticity of the photos.
Amid growing concern about her whereabouts, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has threatened to pull tournaments out of China and the men’s ATP has demanded clarity from the Chinese authorities.