Naomi Osaka expresses concern for missing tennis star Peng Shuai

Naomi Osaka expressed concern for fellow tennis star Peng Shuai after reports surfaced that she has not been heard from since alleging that she was sexually assaulted by a former Chinese vice premier.

“Not sure if you’ve been following the news but I was recently informed of a fellow tennis player that has gone missing shortly after revealing that she has been sexually abused,” Osaka wrote on Twitter. “Censorship is never ok at any cost.”

She added that she hopes that Peng and her family are “ok.”

“I’m in shock of the current situation and I’m sending love and light her way,” Osaka wrote, adding her voice to the hashtag WhereIsPengShuai in a tweet.

Peng, 35, has not been seen since she said in a post that she was coerced into sex with a former member of China’s Politburo Standing Committee, Zhang Gaoli. She added that they later had an on and off consensual relationship, according to The Associated Press.

Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) chief Steve Simon told The New York Times on Sunday that no one in the organization had spoken with Peng directly, but that he was assured by the Chinese Tennis Association that she was safe “and not under any physical threat.”

On Monday, WTA and the men’s tennis governing body called on China to investigate Peng’s allegations, Reuters reported.

Peng has won 23 tour-level doubles titles and was a semifinalist in singles at the U.S. Open in 2014.


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