After Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai posted a sexual assault allegation against a former top Communist Party official on social media, the post — and Peng — disappeared.
In the weeks that followed, the Women’s Tennis Association and the sport’s top athletes joined the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai, including Naomi Osaka, Roger Federer and Serena Williams. Even the UN called for proof of her safety.
Now, Chinese state-run broadcasters have tweeted a supposed email along with photos and videos as evidence of her safety. The International Olympic committee says it had an interview with Peng where she reassured them of her wellbeing.
Today on Front Burner, Racquet publisher and co-founder Caitlin Thompson explains why China’s moves have done little to calm fears for Peng’s autonomy, and why this is a crucial moment for sports to re-examine their relationship with China.