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A Chinese Tennis Player 'Vanishes' After Accusing Former Vice Premier Of Sexual Abuse

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A Chinese Tennis Player 'Vanishes' After Accusing Former Vice Premier Of Sexual Abuse

A Chinese tennis player has reportedly gone missing, and had her social media posts deleted, after accusing Beijing's former vice premier of sexual abuse.

Peng Shuai posted accusations that she was abused by Zhang Gaoli last week on Chinese social media site Weibo, known as the Chinese Facebook.

The post, which claimed that Zhang had forced the 35-year-old into sex, was deleted soon after and reportedly the word wangqiu, tennis in Chinese, was even censored on the site for some time after.

Peng Shuai playing in the Australian Open in 2020. Image: PA Images
Peng Shuai playing in the Australian Open in 2020. Image: PA Images
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Zhang, who is now 75-years-old, who was a high ranking member of the Communist Party was accused of having an affair with the 2014 French Open doubles champion in 2011.

Peng then claimed that he rekindled things in 2018, after inviting her for dinner and then pressured her into having sex, which she refused before eventually relenting.

According to the Daily Mail, the former world number one doubles player has not been seen since the accusations and that the deleted post isn't the only thing to happen to her profile.

The now deleted post. Image: Weibo
The now deleted post. Image: Weibo
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The post was gone from Weibo, which is said to be heavily monitored by the Chinese government, after just 20 minutes and the rest of her profile soon followed.

Peng's profile was disabled at first, and she couldn't be found through a search, but it has since been found and does come up on a Google search.

The English paper report that all comments on her post have been disabled and posting about either the accuser or the accused, even when not about the story, throws up an error.

The player did admit she had no evidence of their prior affair, or the sexual abuse she claims happens, because the politician wanted to keep the whole thing a secret.

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Peng Shuai is a former champion on the clay of Roland Garros. Image: PA Images
Peng Shuai is a former champion on the clay of Roland Garros. Image: PA Images

It's not known why she chose the timing of her recent post, but it did say, "You’ve said you are not afraid.

"But even as an egg hurled at a rock, a moth to a flame for self-destruction, I will speak the truth with you."

A spokesman for Beijing's foreign ministry was asked about the accusations earlier this month but they refused to answer the questions.

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Instead they just said, "I have not heard of it and it is not a diplomatic question."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Tennis

Ryan Sidle
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