WTA threatens to pull events from China if Peng Shuai isn't found alive and well

WTA threatens to pull events from China if Peng Shuai isn't found alive and well

CHINA WILL have tennis events pulled unless Peng Shuai, the tennis star is found, says the head of the WTA. 

The tennis player has not been seen since she made allegations against a former senior Chinese state official of sexual assault on November 2.

Peng made the claims that she was forced into sex at the home of Zhang Gaoli, long time close ally of current president Xi Jinping. The post on the social media site Weibo was deleted within half an hour and has not been heard from since.

Stars like Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, and Naomi Osaka have all called for the Chinese woman's return.

Willaims tweeted;

"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. #whereispengshuai"

Earlier this week, WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon received an email - claiming to be from Peng - which claimed she was alive and safe.

The emails only did the opposite and made the head of the WTA more suspicious of what happened.

Simon has gone on to say he's willing to pull all tournaments from China, unless Peng is found alive and safe

"We're definitely willing to pull our business and deal with all the complications that come with it," Simon told CNN.

"Because this is certainly, this is bigger than the business.

"Women need to be respected and not censored," Simon added.

He also added that communication between the WTA and the CTA (Chinese Tennis Association) has occurred with assurances that Peng is alive and in Beijing.

Simon said however,

"We have reached out to her on every phone number and email address and other forms of contact.

"There's so many digital approaches to contact people these days that we have, and to date we still have not been able to get a response."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry could not provide any evidence on Peng's whereabouts on Friday.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian claimed that the matter was “not a diplomatic question and I’m not aware of the situation.”