Chinese state media releases new video amid Peng Shuai mystery

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·Sports Editor
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Peng Shuai, pictured here at a junior tennis tournament in Beijing.
Peng Shuai purportedly attended a junior tennis tournament in Beijing on Sunday. Image: Twitter

Chinese state media have released another video in their attempts to try and show that missing tennis player Peng Shuai is safe and well.

The former doubles World No.1 seemingly disappeared after making allegations of sexual assault against a former vice-premier in China.

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The WTA has been unable to contact Peng for at least two weeks as the tennis world calls for action to be taken against China.

On Saturday, Chinese state media posted a number of photos and videos online claiming to show that Peng is safe and well and not missing at all.

On Sunday, another video was posted on Twitter by Hu Xijin - Editor-in-chief of the Global Times - claiming to show Peng at a junior tennis tournament.

"Peng Shuai showed up at the opening ceremony of a teenager tennis match final in Beijing on Sunday morning," Hu tweeted.

"Global Times photo reporter Cui Meng captured her at scene."

A photo was also circulated on Twitter purportedly showing Peng at the event.

However WTA chairman Steve Simon has branded the videos as "insufficient".

Simon has threatened to pull the WTA out of the lucrative Chinese part of its tour next season unless it is proved that Peng is safe, and he reiterated that its relationship with China is "at a crossroads".

"I am glad to see the videos released by China state-run media that appear to show Peng Shuai in Beijing," said Simon in a WTA statement.

"While it is positive to see her, it remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or external interference. This video alone is insufficient.

"As I have stated from the beginning, I remain concerned about Peng Shuai's health and safety and that the allegation of sexual assault is being censored and swept under the rug.

"I have been clear about what needs to happen and our relationship with China is at a crossroads."

Photos and videos emerge amid Peng Shuai scandal

Hu had earlier posted a number of videos showing Peng with her coach and friends in a restaurant in Beijing, saying they were taken on Saturday.

"In the past few days, she stayed in her own home freely and she didn't want to be disturbed," Hu wrote.

"She will show up in public and participate in some activities soon."

Three purportedly new pictures of Peng were also reportedly posted on Chinese messaging app WeChat, along with a "Happy Weekend" message.

Roger Federer has since joined the chorus of tennis stars expressing concerns for Peng. 

"She's one of our tennis champions, a former world No.1, and clearly it's concerning," he said in a statement.

"I hope she's safe. The tennis family sticks together and I've always told my children as well that the tennis family is my second family. 

"I've been on tour for 20-25 years and I love the tour, I love the people that are there, (they) are special, the players as well, and she's one of them."

Peng Shuai and Su-Wei Hsieh, pictured here after winning the Wimbledon doubles title in 2013.
Peng Shuai (R) and Su-Wei Hsieh celebrate after winning the Wimbledon doubles title in 2013. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

A Wimbledon statement said: "We are united with the rest of tennis in the need to understand that Peng Shuai is safe. 

"We have been working in support of the WTA's efforts to establish her safety through our relationships behind the scenes.

"Along with the global tennis community, we would like Peng Shuai to know that her wellbeing is of the utmost importance to us, and we will continue to work to gain clarity on her safety."

with AAP

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