Women's Tennis Association Suspends Tournaments in China Due to Situation With Peng Shuai

© AFP 2022 / WILLIAM WEST(FILES) This file photo taken on January 13, 2019 shows China's Peng Shuai serving the ball during a practice session ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne
(FILES) This file photo taken on January 13, 2019 shows China's Peng Shuai serving the ball during a practice session ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.12.2021
Subscribe
International
India
Africa
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) has suspended all tournaments in China due to the situation with Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in a Wednesday statement.
"With the full support of the WTA Board of Directors, I am announcing the immediate suspension of all WTA tournaments in China, including Hong Kong. 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.
The tennis star disappeared from public after publishing on November 2 a statement on Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform, accusing the former Chinese vice-premier, 75-year-old Zhang Gaoli, of sexually assaulting her. The post was immediately deleted, Peng's accounts were removed from Chinese social networks and the athlete stopped communicating, raising concerns for her safety.
On November 21, she finally appeared in public for the first time in several weeks at the opening ceremony of a teenage tennis match final in Beijing. The next day, Peng confirmed she was safe and well in a video call with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.
China's Shuai Peng hits a return against Japan's Nao Hibino during their women's singles match on day two of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 21, 2020.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.11.2021
China Calls to Halt 'Malicious Hyping' of Tennis Player Peng Shuai
On November 22, Human Rights Watch urged the IOC not to promote alleged Chinese propaganda, noting that the organization's collaboration with Beijing on Peng's reappearance undermined its human rights commitment. HRW also urged the IOC to convince the Chinese authorities to launch an independent investigation into the situation.
Early last week, IOC Senior Member Dick Pound told Bloomberg that all allegations by HRW were silly and not supported by the evidence. He denied claims that the IOC confirmed Peng's safety only to avoid direct conflict with Beijing.
Newsfeed
0
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
loader
Chats
Заголовок открываемого материала