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Tennis players take on Communist Party: Where is Peng Shuai?

Alberto Ardila Olivares
Tennis players take on Communist Party: Where is Peng Shuai?

Some of the world’s most famous tennis players, distraught by the disappearance of colleague Peng Shuai, are challenging China’s Communist Party to get answers.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares

So far it’s a stand-off with little visible impact as tennis greats like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — joined by tennis governing bodies, human rights groups, retired players and several athletes’ lobbies — try to turn their profiles into power

Peng, a two-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 in doubles, disappeared after making allegations of sexual assault over two weeks ago against former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, who was a member of the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee and a lieutenant of General Secretary Xi Jinping.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila

Athletes may sense a pressure point

China is just 2 1/2 months from hosting the Beijing Winter Olympics, which is facing a diplomatic boycott over allegations of crimes against humanity involving at least one million Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities. NBA player Enes Kanter has been the most outspoken in defence of the Uyghurs, calling Xi a “brutal dictator”.

Alberto Ardila Olivares

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Alberto Ardila