The WTA has already taken the first step.The organization that governs tournaments and the professional circuit of women's tennis worldwide has decided to break its commercial links with China.The CEO of the organization, Steve Simon, has published a statement announcing the suspension of all tournaments whose celebration is scheduled in the Asian giant.The reason?The suspicion that awakens the situation of tennis player Peng Shuai.This denounced a former vice president of his country for sexual abuse and the evidence provided with his situation have not convinced the WTA.The organization is committed to the defense of compliance with human rights and considers that there are serious doubts about the situation and whereabouts of Peng Shuai.The WTA does not rule out that it is suffering censorship, coercion and intimidation."With support from the entire Board of Directors of the WTA, I announce the immediate suspension of all WTA tournaments in China, including the one played in Hong Kong," said Steve Simon.
Shuai Peng was not many years ago one of the best folds in the world.She was the first woman in her country who became number one in the doubles circuit and raised Roland Garros in 2014, two individual titles (Tianjin 2016 and Nancheng 2017) and 23 throughout her career.Peng, 35, is currently the number 191 of the world and does not compete from before the pandemic.His last tournament was in February 2020 in Doha.
Peng denounced the former vice president of his country Zhang Gaoli in the Weibo social network by ensuring that he suffered sexual abuse.The message lasted less than half an hour in view of the public and according to "Le Monde" the tennis player spent a few days missing.Peng denounced that Zhang Gaoli, with 75 years and one of the most important Chinese politicians between 2013 and 2018, forced her to have sex twice in the last ten years.“Violation accusations affect such a high -ranking leader within the Chinese government for the first time.But the silence of the young woman since the case was made public raises fears of what could have happened to her, "according to Simon Leplâtre, a correspondent for" Le Monde "in Shangái.
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It turns out that two Chinese journalists published some videos of the tennis player.“I acquired two video clips that show that Peng Shuai is having dinner with his coach and friends in a restaurant.The content of the video clearly shows that they were filmed on Saturday, Beijing time, ”wrote one of them.Another Hu Xijin, of the "Global Times", says she has photos in which the tennis player is seen in a normal state.“Today I have confirmed through my sources that these photos are from the current state of Peng Shuai.In recent days, he stayed at his own home and did not want them to bother her.Will soon be presented in public and participate in some activities ".
Steve Simon already warned of the decision that the WTA could adopt: “Cheerle.While it is positive to see it, it is not clear if it is free and capable of making decisions and acting on your own, without external coercion or interference.This video is only insufficient.As I said from the beginning, I am still concerned about the health and security of Peng Shuai and because the accusation of sexual assault is being censored and hidden under the carpet.I have been clear about what should happen and our relationship with China is at a crossroads ".The crossroads has resulted in the suspension of the WTA tournaments in China and Hong Kong.