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Peng Shuai case, WTA gives up on China, whatever the cost

After the threat two weeks ago, the acts. “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 participate in tournaments when Peng Shuai is not allowed to communicate freely and has apparently been pressured to reverse his allegations. sexual abuse “, wrote Steve Simon in a press release. “In view of the current state of affairs, I am also very concerned about the risks that all of our players and staff would take if we hold tournaments in China in 2022.

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But if no WTA tournament was planned before the end of 2021 and the 2022 schedule has not yet been published, the tough decision is strong and symbolic.

During the 2019 season, the last not to have been impacted by the Covid-19, China hosted no less than ten tournaments. Among these, the end-of-year women’s Masters and its $ 14 million endowment, an amount greater than its male counterpart.

The WTA will do everything possible to protect its players. Along with us, I hope that the leaders of the world will continue to stand up for justice for Peng, and all women, regardless of the financial consequences..”

(Re) see: China: the world is mobilizing for Peng Shuai

“Courageous position”

Many stars of world tennis, from Chris Evert to Novak Djokovic, have since taken a stand in support of the player. Several Western countries, notably France and the United States but also the European Union and the UN, have also made their voices heard and asked Beijing to shed light on the fate of Peng Shuai.

The decision of the boss of the WTA has also received a lot of support.

For Billie Jean King, twelve Grand Slam singles tournaments to his name, the WTA “est on the right side of the story “. “What leader“, for her part wrote on Twitter the French Alizée Cornet to the address of Steve Simon.

I fully support the position of the WTA because we don’t have enough information“on Peng Shuai, said for his part the world tennis N.1 Novak Djokovic, while Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal did not react to this latest development.

The former world No. 1 Andy Roddick, for his part, underlined the risk taken, according to him, by Steve Simon: “Acting well is much easier when it costs nothing. Respect.

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Martina Navratilova, the second most successful player in women’s tennis, praised the WTA for her “courageous position” or “we put principles before dollars“.

(Re) see: Disappearance of Peng Shuai: the pressure is increasing on Beijing

“His answers were influenced by others”

Peng Shuai, 35, went missing for days in November after she accused a former Chinese Communist top leader of sexual abuse.

The young woman reappeared, videos published by official media, on November 21 in a restaurant in Beijing and during a tennis tournament held in the Chinese capital.

She also had a videoconference dialogue with the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach.

According to the IOC, Peng Shuai explained that she was “safe and sound at her home in Beijing but would like her privacy to be respectedIt should be noted that the Chinese member of the Olympic Committee, Li Lingwei, attended the videoconference with Thomas Bach.

Saturday, November 27, the WTA disclosed that Steve Simon had sent the player two emails but that he “was clear that his answers were influenced by others“. And last to add that he remained”deeply worried“as to his situation.

(Re) voir: Should we boycott the Beijing Olympics and the World Cup in Qatar?

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