The latest development in Peng Shuai‘s disappearance has again raised eyebrows online, as the player reportedly posted photos confirming that she was safe and well.
Overnight, a China state-affiliated media account posted photos which they claimed were posted on WeChat with the caption saying ‘Happy weekend’.
The post drew immediate skepticism, with some noting the default profile picture, and the account being named ‘Peng Shuai 2’.
READ MORE: Gus breaks silence over leaked photo gaffe
Peng has not been heard from since her explosive claims that Zhang Gaoli, a former vice-premier and member of the party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, had forced her to have sex despite repeated refusals following a round of tennis three years ago.
WTA chairman Steve Simon reiterated that there will be no events in China next year without proof that Peng is safe.
“We cannot stand by compromises. This is a right and wrong issue,” he said in an interview with the BBC.
“This is not about the money, this is about doing what is right and making sure Peng Shuai is safe and free.”
READ MORE: Players union says Paine shouldn’t have quit
Top players including Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, and Novak Djokovic have lended their voices to the campaign to ensure that Peng is not harmed.
“The sad part about this is that we have some tremendous partners and some tremendous friendships in China,” Simon said.
“We don’t want to be in this position, but at the end of the day this is one of those decisions where compromises are not acceptable.
“We have to do what is right here and we will figure that out if we end up being in that position at the end of the day.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!