The WTA is ready to cancel tournaments in China with no answers on the missing tennis player

The Women’s Tennis Association is ready to cancel its tournaments in China, if there is no clarity regarding the fate of the tennis player Peng Shuai and the story that sees her at the center of the news, for the accusation of sexual violence suffered by a former deputy Chinese Prime Minister, Zhang Gaoli, now retired.

“We are ready to withdraw our business and agreements with all the complications that will come,” said the president of the WTA, Steve Simon, quoted by CNN, “because this thing is much bigger than the business. Women must be respected, not censored “.

The WTA has a dozen events scheduled in China in 2022.

Peng, one of the most well-known Chinese sports stars, has disappeared from the public scene since last November 2, when he posted on Weibo his message of accusation of harassment against one of the most powerful men in China, until 2018.

To complicate the situation there is also an alleged e-mail sent by Peng to Simon himself, revealed by the Chinese state television broadcaster CGTN, and in which the champion would partially backtrack from the accusations against the former politician. The statement did not serve to dispel the doubts about the champion: on the contrary, “it only increases my concern”, said Simon, regarding the tennis player’s safety and where she is.

Peng Shuai, added the sports manager, must “be able to speak freely, without coercion or intimidation”.

The post published on Peng’s Weibo account on November 2nd was censored within minutes, but aroused the curiosity of social media users in China, and screenshots of the message circulated on the internet.

In recent days, the WTA had asked for an answer on the tennis player’s condition, and many tennis players on the professional circuit – including well-known names such as Serena Williams – and other sportsmen, such as the footballer Gerard Piqué, had joined in an appeal on Twitter to ask for clarification on the fate of the Chinese tennis player.

Her case presents itself as the most serious of all violence against women, in the galaxy of the Chinese #MeToo movement: Zhang was until 2017 one of the members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, the inner circle of seven national-level political leaders, which includes the Chinese Communist Party secretary general himself, Xi Jinping.

By Editor

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