Spiked Online’s Brendan O’Neill says we are right to be “suspicious” of the circumstances surrounding Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai.

Ms Shuai published allegations of rape by a senior communist party minister on Chinese messaging app Weibo, and promptly disappeared from the public eye for almost three weeks.

After growing calls for her safety to be verified, the tennis star appeared with a Chinese official for a 30-minute call with the International Olympic Committee’s President Thomas Bach.

“We know that China doesn’t allow people to speak out, especially against communist party officials,” Mr O’Neill said.

“We know that it has a tendency to put people away, lock people away, put people under house arrest if they say things that are considered unacceptable.

“And we know that it tells lies in its propaganda, so I think we are right to be suspicious.”

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