Naomi Osaka French Open 2021

‘It’s never ok’ – Naomi Osaka ‘in shock’ at Peng Shuai censorship situation

Naomi Osaka has added her voice to the growing concerns for the safety of two-time doubles Slam champion Peng Shuai.

The Chinese player has not been sighted publicly since alleging a retired Chinese vice premier sexually assaulted her.

A number of players and organisations within tennis have expressed their views and worries, including Novak Djokovic, the ATP and WTA.

Now, four-time Slam champion Naomi Osaka has added her input to the developing situation.

“Censorship is never ok at any cost,” she stated on Twitter. “I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and ok.

“I’m in shock of the current situation and I’m sending love and light her way.”

The Japanese star also included the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai in her post.

Shuai, a Roland Garros and Wimbledon doubles champion, made the accusation against former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

It included screenshots suggesting that Gaoli had forced Shuai into having sex with him at his home three years ago.

The post was deleted by Chinese censors within 30 minutes of its posting, and Shuai’s account has been blocked from searches on the platform since.

Tennis legends billie Jean King and Chris Evert have been among others making public statements on the matter.

“Hoping that Peng Shuai is found safe and that her accusations are fully investigated,” King said on Twitter.

“These accusations are very disturbing,” Evert added, also via Twitter. “I’ve known Peng since she was 14; we should all be concerned; this is serious; where is she? Is she safe? Any information would be appreciated.”

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