MARTINA NAVRATILOVA has criticized the Australian Open chiefs for the ‘pathetic’ ban on t-shirts that read, ‘Where is Peng Shaui?’.
The tennis legend, 65, is the latest star to make waves over the mysterious disappearance of 36-year-old Chinese tennis player Peng.
It comes after spectators at Melbourne Park were asked to remove their jerseys in support of the former world No 14 before entering the field on Friday.
Navratilova, who won 18 singles titles, tweeted: “That’s pathetic. WTA stands pretty alone on this!!!”
Tennis Australia has defended its stance saying that the tournament does not allow political statements.
It said in a statement: “As a condition of our admission, we do not allow clothing, banners or signs of a commercial or political nature.”
Peng disappeared from the public eye in November for several weeks after accusing retired Chinese politician Zhang Gaoli, 75, of sexual misconduct, although she recently denied the claims that father.
Since then, she has been featured in social events but the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) does not believe she is acting on free will and without censorship.
US star Williams tweeted: “This must be investigated and we must not be silenced. Sending love to her and her family during this incredibly difficult time.
British hero Murray also showed his support on Twitter and added the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai in a tweet to his 3.5 million followers.
https://www.thesun.ie/sport/8257583/australian-open-slammed-navratilova-peng-shuai/ ‘It’s pathetic’ – Australian Open fined for Peng Shuai’s ‘cowardly’ t-shirt ban by Martina Navratilova