Women’s Tennis Tour Suspends China Events on Concerns Over Peng
(Bloomberg) -- The Women’s Tennis Association will suspend all of its tournaments in China, saying it was doing so as the country’s leadership has failed to quell concerns that tennis star Peng Shuai is free and safe after she publicly accused a former official of coercing her into a decade-long sexual affair.
“Unfortunately, the leadership in China has not addressed this very serious issue in any credible way. While we now know where Peng is, I have serious doubts that she is free, safe and not subject to censorship, coercion and intimidation,” WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in a statement posted on the organization’s website.
The organization said it would suspend with immediate effect all of its tournaments in China, including Hong Kong, as it would continue to put its players and staff at risk by holding events in the country.
“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 added.
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