Women’s Tennis Association suspends tournaments in China due to Beng Shuai’s treatment

The women’s professional tennis tour immediately halted all tournaments in China, including Hong Kong, in response to the disappearance of tennis star Peng Shuai from public life.

The move comes one month after Ping claimed on her social media channels that she had been sexually assaulted by a prominent member of the Chinese government. The Chinese government quickly moved to clean its internet of all references to the incident and all discussions of Peng, who had disappeared from public life for more than two weeks.

Ping, a three-time Grand Slam doubles champion and Olympic champion, reappeared late last month in a series of matches with Chinese officials, including at video conference With Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, which will bring the Winter Games to Beijing in February.

“While we now know where Bing is, I have serious doubts that she is free, safe, and not subject to censorship, coercion and intimidation,” WTA chief executive Steve Simon said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

“I am very sorry that it has come to this point. The tennis communities in China and Hong Kong are full of wonderful people we have worked with for many years. They should be proud of their achievements, hospitality and success. However, unless China takes the steps we have requested, we cannot put our players and staff at risk. By setting up events in China. China’s leaders have left the WTA with no choice.”

The WTA move marks a major turning point in How did the sports leagues deal with China?It is a vast market that offers a huge opportunity for growth among leagues including the English Football League, the NBA, professional tennis and golf. However, doing business in China has become complicated in recent years as the country’s government has become increasingly authoritarian and suppresses freedom of expression and political protest. Its treatment of Muslim minorities was Considered a genocide by the United States and legislators in several countries.

Ping, 35, accused Zhang Gaoli, 75, former deputy prime minister of China He sexually assaulted her in his home three years ago. She also described a discontinuous consensual relationship with Zhang.

Soon she withdrew from public life. As demands for an investigation mounted, China’s state-owned broadcaster released a letter claiming to be from the tennis star retracting its accusations.

“Hello everyone, this is Peng Shuai,” she stated before describing her sexual assault accusation, which was filed just weeks ago, as untrue. I’m not missing out, nor am I insecure. I was resting at home and everything was fine. Thank you again for your interest in me.”

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