United Nations calls for proof of well being of missing Chinese tennis star, asks for investigation

Members of the global tennis community are weighing in on the sudden disappearance of Peng Shuai
China flag
China flag
(Wang Xiaofeng/VCG via Getty Images)

The United Nations is urging China to provide proof of the well being and location of missing tennis player Peng Shuai who has yet to be seen publicly since accusing former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault.

"It would be important to have proof of her whereabouts and well being, and we would urge that there be an investigation with full transparency into her allegations of sexual assault," said Liz Throssell, the spokesperson for the U.N. office of human rights.

"According to available information, the former world doubles No. 1 hasn't been heard from publicly since she alleged on social media that she was sexually assaulted. We would stress that it is important to know where she is and know her state, know about her well being."

Peng's sudden disappearance following her public allegations of sexual assault against Zheng has sparked an international outcry within the tennis community and beyond.

Steve Simon, the president and CEO of the Women's Tennis Association, said Thursday that he is willing to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue by pulling out of Chinese tennis events should an investigation not be brought. 

"We're definitely willing to pull our business and deal with all the complications that come with it," he told CNN. "This is certainly, this is bigger than the business. Women need to be respected and not censored."

Chinese state media at one point released an email reportedly detailing a correspondence between Peng and Simon, in which the former told Simon she was fine and backtracked on her allegations against Zhang.

Simon said he does not believe "there's any validity"  to the email and "We won't be comfortable until we have a chance to speak with her."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has said it is not aware of the situation involving Shuai.