Former World Number one Peng Shuai disappeared under mysterious circumstances after accusing China’s former vice-premier of sexual assault
The WTA has officially revealed that the tour has no plans to return to China in 2023. The organization is still working to find a resolution to standoff with China over the Peng Shuai disappearance incident. Former World Number one Peng Shuai disappeared under mysterious circumstances after accusing China’s former vice-premier of sexual assault
Speaking on the decision, WTA tour chief Steve Simon said, “We remain dedicated to finding a resolution to this. We want to find a resolution that Peng can be comfortable with and we can be comfortable with. We are not about walking away from China. We have suspended our operations there right now. We will continue to do so until we find a resolution.“
He further added, “We will stay resolute. We do hope to be back there in 2023 with the resolution that shows progress was made in the space. That’s a victory for the world if we can accomplish that.”
What happened to Peng Shuai?
Last year, Peng Shuai posted a message on social media accusing China’s former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault. The post was subsequently deleted and Peng disappeared for three weeks. After the news of this incident broke out, WTA suspended all of its tournaments in China, a decision which cost the women’s tour millions of dollars in broadcasting and sponsorship.
Earlier this year in February, Peng Shuai made an appearance at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. She denied that she had accused anyone of sexual assault and added she herself deleted the post. However, the WTA stuck to its demand for a formal investigation into Peng’s allegations and to meet with her to discuss the situation.
WTA has not had any recent communication with Peng and she has not played made any public appearance since the Winter Olympics either. Women’s tennis premier organisation hopes that they will eventually be able to dig deep into the matter and find an appropriate solution.
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