"We are encouraged by the recent assurances received by WTA that she is safe and accounted for and will continue to monitor the situation closely," Gaudenzi said. "Separately, we stand in full support of WTA's call for a full, fair and transparent investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Peng Shuai."
Peng, 35, wrote that Zhang Gaoli, a former vice premier and member of the ruling Communist Party's all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, had forced her to have sex despite repeated refusals following a round of tennis three years ago. She said Zhang's wife guarded the door during the incident.
Her post also said they had sex once seven years ago and she had feelings for him after that.
As is usual for retired Chinese officials, the 75-year-old Zhang dropped from public sight after his retirement in 2018 and is not known to have any intimate professional or political connections to current leaders.
Peng won 23 tour-level doubles titles, including at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014. She was a semifinalist in singles at the U.S Open in 2014. Peng hasn't played at the top tier since the Qatar Open in February of last year, before restrictions imposed for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peng also played in three Olympics — 2008, 2012, and 2016 — but the International Olympic Committee has remained silent about her allegations. The IOC and China are organizing the Beijing Winter Olympics starting Feb. 4.
Her accusation was the first against a prominent government official since the #MeToo movement took hold in China in 2018 before being largely tamped down by authorities the same year.
When asked during a daily briefing earlier this week about Peng's allegation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said: "I have not heard of the matter, and it is not a diplomatic question."