Novak Djokovic describes Chinese player Peng Shuai's disappearance as 'shocking'
"Honestly, it's shocking that she's missing."
Novak Djokovic has described Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai's sudden disappearance as "shocking." The Chinese tennis star has not been seen since posting allegations of sexual assault against a former senior Chinese official.
Peng - a former world number one doubles player - posted on Chinese social media site Weibo saying that she was "forced" into a sexual relationship with Zhang Gaoli.
Her allegations, which were soon deleted from China's internet, were made earlier this month and marked the first time that such a claim has been made against one of China's senior political leaders.
Zhang served as China's vice-premier between 2013 and 2018 and was a close ally of President Xi Jinping, and has not responded to her claims.
Despite her allegations, Peng stated she would not be able to provide evidence to support her claims.
Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai accused the country's former vice premier of sexual abuse two weeks ago.
The post was removed within 20 minutes, and she hasn't been seen since.
The WTA needs to risk backlash from China to do what is right.
Censorship can’t be tolerated. pic.twitter.com/D35rrdIAJM
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) November 15, 2021
There have been concerns among the global tennis community as Peng has not been seen since posting the allegation.
Twenty-time Men's Grand Slam champion Djokovic has since spoken about the situation, stating that it is 'shocking' that she hasn't been seen.
He said: "I don't have much information about it. I did hear about it a week ago. Honestly, it's shocking that she's missing, more so that it's someone that I have seen on the tour in the previous years quite a few times.
"It's not much more to say than hope that she will be found, that she's OK. It's just terrible. I can imagine just how her family feels that she's missing."
Stacey Allaster, the former CEO of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), said the tennis world has put Peng's health and safety ahead of business.
"Our sport is focusing on the health and safety of Peng Shuai, business is secondary," said Allaster.
"It is tough and it also is tough for this very courageous young woman that has broken her silence and come forward with these allegations."
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