Sébastien Le Belzic 2:11 p.m., November 19, 2021

After accusing a Chinese dignitary of raping her, tennis player Peng Shuai disappeared.

Chinese state media published an email on Wednesday that they attribute to the player, but its authenticity is questioned by world tennis authorities.

These demand explanations from Beijing. 

It is a business that is growing in the world of tennis.

Peng Shuai, a 35-year-old Chinese player, has disappeared after accusing a senior Chinese official of rape.

Former world No. 1 Serena Williams said she was "upset" and "shocked" by the disturbing radio silence of the player she met on the women's circuit.

What worries the world of tennis is an email, attributed to the player, of which no one is convinced of the authenticity.

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 Disappearance of Peng Shuai: everyone should be worried!

The player unreachable for two weeks

Addressed to the WTA, the email in question was published on Wednesday by CGTN, a Chinese state channel. In this letter attributed to Peng Shuai, the player denies the accusations of sexual assault. However, these statements are impossible to verify because for two weeks, no one has been able to see the player or speak to her. Skeptical, Steve Simon, the boss of the WTA, has also threatened to remove Beijing from the circuit.

On November 4, in a long message posted on the Chinese social network Weibo, Peng Shuai accused former Vice-Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli of having raped her.

His message had only been online for about twenty minutes before being censored.

But too late: the controversy shook the regime, which based part of its legitimacy on moral rectitude.

More generally, the case worries Beijing because it lifts the veil on the excesses of the communist aristocracy.

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