No solution in Peng case: WTA rules out return to China

No solution in the Peng case
WTA rules out return to China

Peng Shuai’s fate has remained uncertain since her enigmatic performances at the Winter Olympics. For the women’s tennis organization WTA, this is reason enough not to hold any tournaments in China in 2022 either. The market for the sport is very important.

The women’s tennis organization WTA will definitely not hold any more tournaments in China this year. WTA boss Steve Simon confirmed in the tennis podcast a decision that the women’s tour had already made last year because of the case of former Chinese top player Peng Shuai. However, Simon said he hopes to return to China next year.

“We are not completely withdrawing from China. We have currently suspended our business relationships there and we will continue to do so until we find a solution,” said Simon. “We will remain resolute. We hope to be back in 2023 if there has been a solution by then,” said Simon. “We want to find a solution that Peng is comfortable with, that the Chinese government can live with and that we agree with.”

Peng’s case has stirred the world for several months after she accused a senior Chinese politician of sexual abuse on the social network Weibo in November. The post was deleted soon after. The state censorship had also blocked any debate on the Chinese Internet about it. Since then, athletes, politicians and human rights activists have expressed their concern.

Peng later denied making the allegations. During the Olympic Games in Beijing, she met with IOC President Thomas Bach for a conversation, since then she has not been seen. Observers fear her performances were part of Chinese propaganda and Peng is still unable to speak freely.

WTA boss Simon insists on the possibility of an independent discussion with Peng. The Chinese market is very important for women’s tennis for financial reasons. Among other things, the WTA Finals recently took place in Shenzhen. Simon had therefore received a lot of international recognition for his consistent step.


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