Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of state-run newspaper Global Times had released footage of Peng on Twitter which showed her attending her fans in the tennis court on Sunday.
"Can any girl fake such sunny smile under pressure? Those who suspect Peng Shuai is under duress, how dark they must be inside. There must be many many forced political performances in their countries," he captioned the video which showed Peng signing oversize commemorative tennis balls for children in the court.
Can any girl fake such sunny smile under pressure? Those who suspect Peng Shuai is under duress, how dark they must be inside. There must be many many forced political performances in their countries. pic.twitter.com/2oDOghBTvA— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) November 21, 2021
Hu has shared several footages of the Peng Shaui from the tournament. “Peng Shuai showed up at the opening ceremony of a teenager tennis match final in Beijing on Sunday morning,” he tweeted with yet another clipping.
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The BBC has also reported that the tennis star had a video call with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and they spoke for 30 minutes wherein Peng also said she was safe.
"At the beginning of the 30-minute call, Peng Shuai thanked the IOC for its concern about her wellbeing," the statement from IOC said.
As per the report, Peng further explained that she is safe and well and living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time."
Today, IOC President Thomas Bach, the Chair of the IOC Athletes' Commission, Emma Terho, and IOC Member in China, Li Lingwei, held a video call with three-time Olympian Peng Shuai from China.— Athlete365 (@Athlete365) November 21, 2021
Read here: https://t.co/qUmvaEtIHH pic.twitter.com/UoxtCeHS20
The IOC statement also included an image of the video call taking place, with Ms. Peng seen smiling at the camera.
Earlier on Saturday night a video showing Peng Shuai having dinner with her friends and coach was released to which the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) chief had reacted saying it was “insufficient” evidence of her safety. The videos were posted by Chinese state media on Twitter
“While it is positive to see her, it remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or external interference,” WTA chief, Steve Simon has said.
“This video alone is insufficient. As I have stated from the beginning, I remain concerned about Peng Shuai’s health and safety and that the allegation of sexual assault is being censored and swept under the rug. I have been clear about what needs to happen and our relationship with China is at a crossroads,” Simon added.
The concerns around her whereabouts had emerged as she went AWOL after she accused former vice-premier, Zhang Gaoli, of sexual assault on November 2, a day after his 75th birthday. The allegation had surfaced up on China’s social media platform, Weibo, but was deleted soon after.
Several star players including Roger Federer had voiced their concern and asked the Chinese government to provide proof of her safety.
“She’s one of our tennis champions, a former world No. 1, and clearly it’s concerning,” Federer told Sky Italia.
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“I hope she’s safe. The tennis family sticks together and I’ve always told my children as well that the tennis family is my second family. I’ve been on tour for 20-25 years and I love the tour, I love the people that are there, [they] are special, the players as well, and she’s one of them,” he added.