Peng Shuai
Tennis Majors By The Numbers Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images

After Peng Shuai claimed a former high-ranking Chinese official sexually assaulted her, the tennis star has reportedly vanished, and now her fans and colleagues are wondering #WhereIsPengShuai.

The Chinese tennis star has not been seen in publicever since she claimed that former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli forced her to have sex with him at his residence three years ago. She made the allegation in a Nov. 2 post on Weibo that has been deleted now, reported CNN.

Tennis star Serena Williams is one of the many who is concerned about Shuai.

She tweeted that she is shocked and devastated to hear about her peer, and hopes Shuai is safe and found as soon as possible. Williams wants the allegation to be investigated and said that people must not stay silent. She sent love to Shuai and her family, and ended her note with #whereispengshuai, a hashtag that's been trending on Twitter.

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka is another sports star to speak out about Shuai. She tweeted that censorship is never okay, and she hoped Shuai and her family are safe and alright.

Osaka sent "love and light her way."

On Wednesday, the China Global Television Network, which is the country's state-run English-language outlet, tweeted a letter which it claimed was sent from Shuai to Women's Tennis Association (WTA) chairman and chief executive Steve Simon.

The letter addressed the recent news released on WTA's official website. It said that the content was not confirmed or verified by her and it was released without her consent, reported The Guardian. The letter said that the news mentioned in the release, including the sexual assault allegations, were false. According to the letter, the Chinese tennis player is not missing, nor she is unsafe. She is apparently "resting at home and everything is fine."

Simon doubts that the email allegedly sent by Shuai is authentic, and said that it only raises his "concerns as to her safety and whereabouts." He said that he had a hard time believing that the tennis star actually wrote the email, and noted that she must be "allowed to speak freely, without coercion or intimidation from any source." Simon added that Shuai's allegation of sexual assault must be "respected and investigated" without censorship and with full transparency.

Amnesty International wants China to prove she is safe and wants the nation to investigate the sexual assault allegation, saying that China has "systematically silenced the country's #MeToo movement." The international body's China Researcher, Doriane Lau, said that the recent "so-called statement that 'everything is fine' should not be taken at face value" as the Asian country's state media has a record of fabricating statements or forcing them out of people under duress. Lau added that concerns about Shuai will not go unless her whereabouts and safety are confirmed.

Peng Shuai
Peng Shuai of China in action during her Women's Singles first round match against Nao Hibino of Japan on day two of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 21, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images

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