(Bloomberg) -- Two spectators wearing T-shirts in support of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai were ejected from the Australian Open, according to the Financial Times.
The newspaper cited video footage circulating of security officials and police ejecting two protesters who carried a banner and shirts with the phrase: “Where is Peng Shuai?”
Peng’s whereabouts and safety have been the subject of global concern since she made allegations in November against a former top Chinese official. She later denied having made the claims.
Former tennis champion Martina Navratilova called the removal of spectators “pathetic” in a tweet, while highlighting the Women’s Tennis Association’s support of Peng. Tennis Australia, the game’s governing body in the country, said “spectators were not allowed to display political or commercial statements during the tournament,” according to the FT.
It’s the second controversy at this year’s Australian Open after a spat over the participation of unvaccinated Serbian player Novak Djokovic, who was deported after having his visa cancelled by the Australian government.
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