Peng Shuai: WTA claim IOC video call with Peng Shuai is a publicity stunt

Peng Shuai: WTA claim IOC video call with Peng Shuai is a publicity stunt

THE WOMEN'S Tennis Association have said that it's concerns over Chinese tennis Peng Shuai's safety have not been alievatated after the organization held a call between the president of the International Olympic Committee and Shuai.

The IOC released a statement after the call saying the Chinese woman was safe and well.

Peng has not been seen since she accused a senior Chinese minister of sexual assault allegation on Weibo.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 23: Shuai Peng of China plays a backhand . (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Her disappearance has gained attention online from sports stars. Many have called on China to provide proof that she was safe.

The furore over her disappearance promoted the Chinese state media to release a series of photographs and videos showing she was safe and healthy.

Thomas Bach, IOC President held a video call with three-time Olympian on Sunday after the IOC released a statement.

The account said Peng had "thanked the IOC for its concern about her wellbeing".

"She explained that she is safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time," it added.

"She prefers to spend her time with friends and family right now," it said. "Nevertheless, she will continue to be involved in tennis."

The IOC statement also showed an image of the video call taking place, with Peng happy on camera.

The WTA, however, have said the video does not do enough to dispel the myth that she is unsafe. They believe she is not able to communicate without censorship or coercion".

"This video does not change our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation, without censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault, which is the issue that gave rise to our initial concern," it added.

Neither Zhang nor the Chinese government have commented on Peng's allegations. 

A hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai? has trended on twitter.

The topic has been blocked from discussion on China's heavily censored internet and the comments sections on all remaining posts on Peng's official Weibo account, and on numerous old posts by users about her, have been locked.

Current and former tennis players, including Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams and Billie Jean King, joined the calls seeking to confirm she was safe, using the social media hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai?

The men’s singles world No 1 Novak Djokovic said it would be strange to hold tournaments in China unless the “horrific” situation was resolved.