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WTA suspends all tournaments in China over Peng Shuai concerns

Chinese player Peng Shuai, had accused a high-ranking government official of sexual assault.

Peng ShuaiChinese player Peng Shuai | OyeYeah News

Women’s Tennis Association WTA suspends all tournaments in China over Peng Shuai concerns!

The women’s professional tennis tour announced Wednesday it was suspending all tournaments in China which could cost the Women’s Tennis Association hundreds of millions of dollars.

  • The decision from the tennis body has been taken amid the safety concerns of the top Chinese player Peng Shuai over the accusations of sexual assault.
  • Former doubles world number one, Peng has represented China in the Beijing, London, and Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
  • She alleged that the former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli coerced her into sex and they later had an on-off consensual relationship.
  • The Chinese government had deleted her post on the social media site Weibo, as well as her account that contained her accusation, posted on November 2.

Read more: UN demands investigation into whereabouts of missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai

“I am announcing the immediate suspension of all WTA tournaments in China, including Hong Kong,” Simon said in a statement.

“In good conscience, I don’t see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai is not allowed to communicate freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of sexual assault,” Simon said.

“Given the current state of affairs, I am also greatly concerned about the risks that all of our players and staff could face if we were to hold events in China in 2022.”

It is to be noted that in 2019, China hosted 10 events with total prize money topping $30 million.

Though the 2022 schedule had not yet been set, the WTA had planned 11 events in China this year before Covid-19 forced them to be relocated or cancelled.

the authorSaman Siddiqui
Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.