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WTA suspends all tournaments in China over considerations of Peng Shuai’s security


WTA CEO Steve Simon introduced Wednesday the group is suspending all tournaments in China in response to Chinese language tennis star Peng Shuai’s sexual assault allegations and subsequent disappearance. Peng has been seen in public solely as soon as since Nov. 2, when she accused former Communist Occasion chief Zhang Gaoli of pressuring her into intercourse.

The transfer comes after years of goodwill and relationship constructing between the WTA and China. China presently hosts 11 WTA tournaments and was slated to host the WTA Finals in Shenzhen from 2022-2030. 

Right here a part of a Simon’s assertion, through WTATennis.com:

“I very a lot remorse it has come up to now. The tennis communities in China and Hong Kong are filled with nice individuals with whom we now have labored for a few years. They need to be pleased with their achievements, hospitality and success. Nevertheless, except China takes the steps we now have requested for, we can not put our gamers and employees in danger by holding occasions in China. China’s leaders have left the WTA with no alternative. I stay hopeful that our pleas will probably be heard and the Chinese language authorities will take steps to legitimately handle this situation.”

Simon, who threatened to tug WTA’s enterprise from China on Nov. 18, did precisely that Wednesday as a result of the nation did not “verifiably show that Peng is free and in a position to communicate with out interference or intimidation, and examine the allegation of sexual assault in a full, truthful and clear method.”

Chinese language state media launched video of Peng eating together with her pals and coach in Beijing on Nov. 20. The previous world No. 1 additionally allegedly appeared on an IOC video convention a day later. Chair of the Athletes’ Fee Emma Terho, a member of the four-person IOC video convention, claimed Peng was “advantageous” in an announcement. 

However these appearances, which weren’t public, have not quelled the WTA’s fears about Peng’s security. That prompted Simon to droop all WTA tournaments in China. 

“Whereas we now know the place Peng is, I’ve critical doubts that she is free, protected and never topic to censorship, coercion and intimidation,” Simon wrote. “The WTA has been clear on what is required right here, and we repeat our name for a full and clear investigation – with out censorship – into Peng Shuai’s sexual assault accusation.

“None of that is acceptable nor can it grow to be acceptable. If highly effective individuals can suppress the voices of girls and sweep allegations of sexual assault below the rug, then the premise on which the WTA was based – equality for girls – would endure an immense setback. I cannot and can’t let that occur to the WTA and its gamers.”

Peng made her allegations in a since-deleted on-line publish to the Chinese language social-media website Weibo. However China has denied the allegations and censored the encompassing dialogue. Simon believes the nation “has not addressed this very critical situation in any credible method” and doesn’t wish to topic extra WTA athletes to related censorship. 

“In good conscience, I do not see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai will not be allowed to speak freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of sexual assault,” Simon wrote. “Given the present state of affairs, I’m additionally significantly involved concerning the dangers that every one of our gamers and employees might face if we had been to carry occasions in China in 2022.”

Whereas dropping Chinese language enterprise will probably be a monetary hit to the WTA, Simon inspired others to talk out about sexual assault whatever the price. 

“The WTA will do all the things doable to guard its gamers,” Simon wrote. “As we achieve this, I hope leaders world wide will proceed to talk out so justice could be performed for Peng, and all girls, regardless of the monetary ramifications.”





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