Peng, a former doubles world No 1, has not been seen in public since sheaccused the former high-ranking official Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault on 2 November. “It would be important to have proof of her whereabouts and wellbeing and we would urge that there be an investigation with full transparency into her allegations of sexual assault,” Liz Throssell, a spokesperson for UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet, said in Geneva on Friday.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki also called for the Chinese government to provide “independent, verifiable proof” of Peng’s whereabouts. Shortly after the UN call, photos purporting to show the tennis player were released by a Chinese state-affiliated journalist. Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the state-run Global Times newspaper, wrote on Twitter that Peng has been staying in her own home “freely” and will make a public appearance “soon”.