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Australian Open 2022: Security forces spectators to remove ‘Where is Peng Shuai?’ shirts

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Fans showed up at the Australian Open on Friday with apparel and signs that questioned the whereabouts of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. A group of people in the stands had a banner that read, “Where is Peng Shuai?” and wore shirts that had a photo of Peng on the front that read “Wanted.”

Event officials confiscated the items, but not before photos and videos of the shirts and banner were shared online.

Security said that they had to confiscate the apparel because, “You’re not supposed to bring any political statements” into the venue. The person taking the above video then asked if “Free Peng Shuai” was political according to Tennis Australia, to which the security guard responded by shaking his head and saying “yes.”

Tennis legend Martina Navratilova said forcing the fans to remove the shirts was “just pathetic.”

Peng disappeared after a post on her social media page on Nov. 2 claimed that former Chinese Communist Party leader Zhang Gaoli sexually assaulted her. The posts were quickly deleted by the Chinese government and she has since come back into the public and said she never made such claims.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound, after a video call with IOC president Thomas Bach, said the group decided unanimously that Peng was “fine,” despite concern from others at her lack of public appearances.

Still, many have called for “verifiable” proof that she is OK to ensure her safety. 



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