Lawn Tennis Association calls Peng Shuai situation ‘very disturbing’

The Lawn Tennis Association has offered its assistance in efforts to find missing Chinese player Peng Shuai.

Peng has not been seen since making allegations of sexual assault against a former vice-premier in China two weeks ago, creating concern for her safety and well-being.

The head of the Women’s Tennis Association, Steve Simon, says Peng’s voice must be heard and the LTA has offered its support to the global body in any way it can.

“This is a very concerning situation, and we have written to the WTA offering our assistance in their efforts to establish the safety and well-being of Peng Shuai,” an LTA statement read.

“We are also keen to support any further measures that the tours can introduce to improve the safety of all players.

“The immediate priority is to establish that Peng Shuai is safe and well and, furthermore, that she is able to speak freely and not subject to any form of censorship.”

On Thursday night 23-time grand slam winner Serena Williams joined the calls for an investigation into what had happened to Peng.

“I am devastated and shocked to hear about the news of my peer, Peng Shuai,” the American wrote on Twitter.

Serena Williams has called for an investigation into Peng's disappearance
Serena Williams has called for an investigation into Peng’s disappearance (Adam Davy/PA)

“I hope she is safe and found as soon as possible. This must be investigated and we must not stay silent.”

The International Olympic Committee declined to comment on the matter, with Beijing set to host the Winter Olympics in February.

An IOC spokesperson said: “Experience shows that quiet diplomacy offers the best opportunity to find a solution for questions of such nature. This explains why the IOC will not comment any further at this stage.”