NEW IMAGES of the missing tennis star who claims an ex-Chinese official sexually abused her.
A MISSING Chinese tennis player has been spotted in new photos released by state media, accusing a former top-ranking government official of corruption.
Peng Shuai, 35, has been missing since November 5. She was a well-known tennis player who won the Wimbledon doubles tournament at one point in her career.
Following the news that the tennis star had gone missing following the allegations, messages of support poured in from all over the tennis world.
“I am devastated and shocked to hear about the news of my peer, Peng Shuai,” Serena Williams wrote on Twitter.
“I sincerely hope she is safe and found quickly.”
“This needs to be looked into, and we can’t keep quiet about it.”
“I’m not sure if you’ve been following the news, but I was recently informed of a fellow tennis player who went missing shortly after revealing that she had been sexually abused,” Naomi Osaka wrote.
“I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and well. Censorship is never acceptable at any cost.”
“I’m stunned by the current situation and am sending her love and light.”
However, the situation has been given a ray of hope after Chinese state media released new photos of the star smiling.
Shen Shiwei shared the missing 35-year-old’s photos on Twitter.
“Peng Shuai’s WeChat moments just posted three new photos and said “Happy weekend,” according to the tweet.
“The three photos, as well as a screenshot of Peng’s WeChat moments, were shared by her friend.”
Three photos of the athletes smiling with a cat were attached to this tweet.
However, Tommy Walker, an Asian reporter, was not convinced by the tweet.
“She needs to do a live video for anyone to believe that,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Couldn’t those photos have been taken a few weeks ago and shared by her friend?”
“And why did she have to share them with her friend?”
“Don’t argue about something you don’t understand.”
If any harm is done to Ms Shuai, WTA Chief Executive Steve Simon has warned that the WTA will take appropriate action against China.
Mr Simon said they are at a “crossroads” with China in a statement to Reuters on Friday.
“We continue to demand independent and verifiable proof that Peng Shuai is safe and that her sexual assault allegation will be fully investigated, fairly, and without censorship,” Mr Simon said.
“If that is not the case, the WTA will do the right thing.”