India - Women's Tennis Association suspends tournaments in C...| MENAFN.COM

Monday, 26 September 2022 09:44 GMT

India - Women's Tennis Association suspends tournaments in China: Here's why

(MENAFN- NewsBytes)

Last month, Peng went missing after accusing a top Chinese official of sexual assault. WTA chief Steve Simon has serious doubts that Peng was 'free, safe, and not subject to intimidation'. Here are further details.

Takeaways Why does this story matter?

IOC President Thomas Bach had assured that Peng was safe

The WTA has had concerns about Peng's safety ever since she disappeared from public view. The association has perpetually demanded a full investigation regarding the same. As per recent reports, Peng told Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee, that she was 'safe and well'. However, the WTA said the evidence remains 'insufficient'.

Withdrawal WTA withdraws tournaments from China

Simon, in a lengthy statement, announced that WTA has withdrawn tournaments from China. 'The leadership in China hasn't addressed this very serious issue in any credible way,' he said. 'If powerful people can suppress the voices of women and sweep allegations of sexual assault under the rug, then the basis on which the WTA was founded (equality for women) would suffer an immense setback.'

Controversy What is the matter?

The whereabouts of the Chinese tennis star Peng, who accused former vice-premier, Zhang Gaoli, of sexual assault, have been a matter of international concern. Peng, through a statement, revealed that she and Zhang had an on-off 'extramarital relationship'. She highlighted that Zhang once invited her to play tennis with him where he and his wife sexually assaulted Peng.

Video Footage doesn't address the concerns: WTA

Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of China's state-run newspaper, the Global Times, recently released a video on Twitter that showed Peng getting introduced at a youth tennis match in Beijing. However, a WTA spokesperson said the footage alone wasn't enough. Meanwhile, Simon said, 'While it is positive to see her, it remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions.'

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