Experts have questioned the authenticity of recently released photos showing missing tennis star Peng Shuai smiling as she poses for the camera behind a sea of children’s toys.
Three photos posted online by a reporter working with CGTN, the international branch of ChinaThe US state broadcaster reportedly presents the 35-year-old tennis ace with a gray cat surrounded by a bed of soft toys.
The person who shared the photo, Shane Shiwei Twitter On Friday, said the images were shared with Shuai’s . was posted on WeChat messengers, but experts continue to doubt the veracity of the pictures.
Fears are rising for Shuai, once the world’s top female doubles player, who has not been seen since the country’s former deputy prime minister was accused of rape on November 2.
Shuai wrote after sharing an email in which she said she was “resting at home” Friday marked the second time the Chinese-state broadcaster attempted to ease concerns over the missing tennis star. Was’.
Andy Murray and Serena Williams have become the latest high-profile names to join a campaign to find missing tennis star Peng Shuai in the wake of his sexual assault allegations.
Fears persist for Peng Shuai, once the world’s top female doubles player, who has not been seen since the country’s former deputy prime minister was accused of rape on November 2.
Three photos posted online by a reporter working with CGTN, the international wing of China’s state broadcaster, purportedly show the 35-year-old tennis ace posing with a gray cat surrounded by a soft toy bed.
Shen Shiwei, who shared the photos on Twitter on Friday, said the images were posted on Shuai’s WeChat messenger, but experts continue to doubt the veracity of the photos.
As news of the photos being shared online, internet officials also questioned the fact that a framed photo of Winnie the Pooh – a character banned in China – appeared in the background.
The former couple world No. 1 has not been seen or heard in public since she said on Chinese social media in early November that former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli had forced her into sex three years ago, and that their There was a relationship between
The post was quickly removed from her verified account on Weibo, a major Chinese social media platform, but screenshots of the explosive allegation quickly spread. This topic is being prevented from being discussed on China’s highly censored internet.
Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, 35, has not been seen since November 2 when he posted on social media a senior Communist official accusing him of sexual abuse.
Serena Williams also garnered over 24,000 retweets on her social media
Naomi Osaka used the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai to express her ‘shock’ on Twitter
Andy Murray has now joined the search for Peng, the former world No. 1 doubles player
Serena Williams, 40, 23-time Grand Slam champion, publicly called on authorities to launch an investigation into Shuai’s disappearance and urged those involved to “not keep quiet”.
Andy Murray then noted the uncomfortable situation, noting: ‘Women’s tennis player Peng Shuai is currently undisclosed following allegations of sexual abuse against a Chinese government official.
‘This speech gives us a reminder and some hope that things may change in the future #WhereIsPengShuai’
Meanwhile, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) said it was ready to cancel its tournament China If they were not satisfied with the response to her sexual harassment allegation.
This comes after Chinese state media published an English-language email, which they claim was written by Peng, which said: ‘I am not missing, nor am I vulnerable. I am resting at home now and everything is fine.
Women’s Tennis Association chief Steve Simon said it was “hard to believe” that Peng himself wrote the email and that it “only heightens my concerns about his safety and whereabouts.”
Simon said no one from the WTA had been in direct contact with Peng since he accused 75-year-old Communist Party official Zhang Gaoli of forcing her to have sex on Chinese social media two weeks ago.
On Wednesday, fears about her safety grew as Chinese state media claimed it was an email written by her that said ‘I am now resting at home and all is well’
Social media users were quick to point out oddities with ’email’, in which it is addressed to ‘everyone’ despite it being a private message and a typing cursor appears to be flashing in the middle of the message – suggesting that It is open in a word processor
Peng alleged that senior politician Zhang Gaoli, who is 40 years his senior, sexually assaulted her in a bedroom of their house while his wife was present.
On Wednesday, Simon cast doubt on an email released on Twitter by a Chinese state media outlet, which claimed to be from Peng and denied the allegations of sexual assault.
“I’m finding it hard to believe that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or believes what is being attributed to him,” he said.
As of Friday, the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai had received more than 32 million mentions on Facebook’s Instagram, which is blocked in China as well as Twitter, according to hashtag analysis website BrandMentions.
Earlier, China’s foreign ministry said it was not aware of the controversy surrounding Peng, who disappeared after a former top official was accused of sexual assault.
Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters that the matter was “not a diplomatic question and I am not aware of the situation”.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian (pictured 16 November) told reporters that the controversy over the disappearance of tennis professional Peng Shuai was “not a diplomatic question and I am not aware of the situation”.
The ministry has consistently denied knowledge of the issue since it emerged as a major global story earlier this week.
Despite this, international pressure is mounting to uncover the truth about Peng’s whereabouts, with 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, 40, urging the launch of an investigation.
Peng, 35, is a former top-ranked player in women’s doubles, having won Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014.
She also competed in three Olympics, making her disappearance even more prominent, as Beijing prepares to host the Winter Games starting February 4.
Liz Throsel, spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva, said on Friday she was calling for a “completely transparent investigation into allegations of sexual assault.”
‘And I guess we would say that should be the case with all allegations of sexual harassment. Ensuring accountability is really important to ensure justice for the victims.”