‘It’s still not clear if she’s free’ – WTA president calls Bing Shuai’s video released by Chinese media ‘insufficient’

Steve Simon, president of the Women’s Tennis Association, described a video clip of missing Chinese player Peng Shuai at a restaurant as «not enough».

Ing, the former Wimbledon doubles champion, was seen smiling in the apparently new footage released by Chinese state media.

Concern for the well-being of the 35-year-old, about whom nothing has been heard for more than two weeks, this week even reached the United Nations and the White House.

The former world number one in doubles appears to have disappeared after allegations of sexual assault on the former deputy prime minister of China on the social networking site Weibo.

Simon has threatened to withdraw the WTA from the lucrative Chinese portion of its tour next season unless Peng proves safe, and reiterated that her relationship with China is «at a crossroads».

«I am glad to see the videos published by the state-run media in China apparently showing Peng Shuai in a restaurant in Beijing,» Simon said in the WTA statement.

“While seeing her is positive, it remains unclear whether she is free and able to make decisions and take action on her own, without coercion or outside interference. This video alone is not enough.

“As I stated from the beginning, I remain concerned about the health and safety of Bing Shuai and that allegations of sexual assault are being censored and are sweeping the rug.

«I’ve been clear about what needs to happen and our relationship with China is at a crossroads.»

On Saturday, Wimbledon organizers joined calls to confirm Bing’s health.

«We are united with the rest of tennis in the need to understand that Peng Shuai is safe,» a statement read. «We have worked to support the WTA’s efforts to establish its safety through our behind-the-scenes relationships.»

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«Together with the global tennis community, we would like Peng Shuai to know that her well-being is of paramount importance to us, and we will continue to work to clarify her safety.»

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have also added their voices to the many tennis stars across the game who have raised the concerns of the WTA.

Speaking to Sky Italia, Federer said: «She’s one of our tennis champions, the former world number one, and obviously worrying. I hope you’re safe. The tennis family holds together and I’ve always told my kids that the tennis family is a second family.»

In an interview with the French newspaper L’Equipe, Nadal added: «I follow the news and read articles about Bing Shuai. Although I don’t have all the information, the most important thing here is to know if she is okay. All of us in the tennis family hope to see her back with us soon.» .

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