The caput of the women’s nonrecreational tennis circuit announced that each WTA tournaments would beryllium suspended successful China due to the fact that of concerns astir the information of Peng Shuai, a Grand Slam doubles champion who accused a erstwhile high-ranking authorities authoritative successful that state of intersexual assault.
Peng dropped retired of nationalist presumption aft raising the allegations astir erstwhile vice premier Zhang Gaoli successful a November 2 societal media posting that was rapidly taken down by Chinese authorities.
“Unfortunately, the enactment successful China has not addressed this precise superior contented successful immoderate credible way,” WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon wrote successful a connection distributed by the tour.
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“While we present cognize wherever Peng is, I person superior doubts that she is free, safe, and not taxable to censorship, coercion, and intimidation.”
Simon repeated his telephone for a “full and transparent probe — without censorship” into Peng's accusations and took an unusually beardown basal against China, which was expected to beryllium the tract of respective tennis tournaments adjacent year, including the prestigious season-ending WTA Finals.
“In bully conscience, I don’t spot however I tin inquire our athletes to vie determination erstwhile Peng Shuai is not allowed to pass freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of intersexual assault,” Simon said.
“Given the existent authorities of affairs, I americium besides greatly acrophobic astir the risks that each of our players and unit could look if we were to clasp events successful China successful 2022.”
Beijing is acceptable to big the Winter Olympics opening connected February 4, and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said precocious past period helium spoke with Peng connected a video call.
The IOC did not merchandise video oregon a transcript of the speech and said lone that Bach reported she said she was well.
The IOC said successful a connection that Peng appeared to beryllium “doing fine” and said she had requested privacy.
The IOC did not explicate however the telephone was arranged, though it has worked intimately with the Chinese Olympic Committee and authorities officials to organise the upcoming Olympics.
Critics person suggested that Peng would not person called the IOC if she was genuinely escaped to speak.
“If almighty radical tin suppress the voices of women and expanse allegations of intersexual battle nether the rug, past the ground connected which the WTA was founded — equality for women — would endure an immense setback,” Simon said.
“I volition not and cannot fto that hap to the WTA and its players.”