The tennis star from China Peng Shuai accused a former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her into sex. According to the athlete, she has already said about the harassment several years ago in a social media but her post that was later deleted.
As a proof of her words, Peng Shuai showed a screenshot of her verified Weibo account late on Tuesday. The Chinese athlete, former No 1 in the double play, said that Gaoli coerced her into sex, and they later had an on-off consensual relationship.
The post was deleted from the social network around half an hour after it was published, the athlete said. In addition, Peng’s name on China’s tightly controlled internet surged after the posting, and screenshots were shared among private WeChat groups and over iMessage.
China’s internet is heavily censored and the private lives of top leaders are an especially sensitive subject, NikkeiAsia reports.
China’s State Council Information Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment, including for comment from Zhang. Weibo and Tencent, which operates WeChat, did not respond to requests for comment.
Meantime, by early Wednesday, searches for Peng’s name on Weibo yielded no results and discussions of the topic were blocked. Users of WeChat and QQ, another chat app, were blocked from sending the screenshots to each other.