WTA tennis star Peng Shuai ‘assaulted’ in China

Written by By Lisa Respers France, CNN

WTA CEO Steve Simon said Tuesday that the body was seeking more information about a video showing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai entering a street in front of an unidentified bus in a commercial center in Shenzhen, China.

The video was obtained by the Hurun Report, a private Shanghai-based publication founded by the fashion industry, which reported it had not been verified by authorities.

Peng, who is Chinese and has more than 30 WTA titles to her name, was at the time shopping with her daughter, according to a report by the South China Morning Post.

The video shows Peng entering a street in front of an unidentified bus at close to 4 a.m.

In a separate report, Asiaone news said it had been in contact with local authorities in Shenzhen, and that officials were looking into the video and were in the process of contacting its source.

“A video claiming to show a member of the WTA Tour team entering a residential area in Shenzhen at the hands of unknown assailants is raising a very concerning situation for us,” Simon said in a statement.

“We expect our players to adhere to the highest standards in behaviour and personal security. At present there is no indication of any legal action being taken and we are seeking further information. However, given the sudden emergence of this incident, the league will be looking into it very carefully.”

Simon confirmed that none of the women’s tennis players on the tour were among the suspects in the May 2016 disappearance of a former Chinese tennis pro, Yingying Duan, who disappeared from home and later reappeared in China after signing up for the tour.

Sohu, China’s leading search engine and e-commerce giant, said in a news post Tuesday that the video, which appeared to have been taken by an attacker, was the latest example of a drop in investment from Chinese celebrities into the WTA.

Duan, an amateur tennis player whose nickname is Butterfly, disappeared in May 2016. The tournament authorities, who were aware that Duan had been training at their facilities for the last few weeks, had not received any communication from her.

Her appearance three months later in China, to a press conference with Chinese actress Wana Jia for promotional reasons, prompted suspicions she had in fact “disappeared” and was recruited by China-based investigators.

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