WTA suspends tournaments in China over Peng Shuai

The speculation around the ‘missing’ tennis star has led the association to suspend tournaments in China.

Peng Shuai

The drama surrounding the missing tennis star Peng Shuai has added another twist as the Women’s Tennis Association announced the suspension of tournaments in all Chinese territories, including Hong Kong.

The announcement was made through Steve Simon, the association’s chief executive on Wednesday. This was said to have been necessitated by his unsuccessful attempts to communicate directly with Peng Shuai since she has been suspected to be abducted by the Chinese government.

This is an unusual turn of events with how sports associations have dealt with the Asian country in the past. Although the unusual turn of events seems to have made the line of action necessary even though China has continued to insist that the athlete is safe in China.

All attempts to communicate directly with Shuai have been rebuffed with sightings and communication that reportedly emanated from her suspected to be concocted by agents of the government.

The Grand Slam doubles champion turned up missing after she accused a government official of sexually abusing her with a statement on her social media account which has been since scrubbed from the Chinese internet.

An excerpt of the statement by Simon for the WTA read: “As a result, and with the full support of the WTA Board of Directors, 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 compete there when Peng Shuai is not allowed to communicate freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of sexual assault.

“Given the current state of affairs, I am also greatly concerned about the risks that all of our players and staff could face if we were to hold events in China in 2022.”

---

Seye Omidiora is a passionate football writer and pundit whose deep appreciation for the beautiful game exceeds the usual. He is currently a columnist for Goal Africa and has previously written for Vital Football UK, IBCity Info and Opera News.

-----

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.

Recommended articles

'Half a dozen dead' in Cup of Nations stadium crush: Cameroon state media

'Half a dozen dead' in Cup of Nations stadium crush: Cameroon state media

AFCON 2021: Cameroon 2 Vs 1 Comoros Player Ratings

AFCON 2021: Cameroon 2 Vs 1 Comoros Player Ratings

Cameroon into AFCON quarters despite Comoros heroics, Gambia win

Cameroon into AFCON quarters despite Comoros heroics, Gambia win

AFCON hosts Cameroon labour to beat Comoros side deprived of goalkeeper

AFCON hosts Cameroon labour to beat Comoros side deprived of goalkeeper

AFCON 2021: 'Out with Pride' - Comoros exit AFCON after valiant display in 2 - 1 loss to Cameroon

AFCON 2021: 'Out with Pride' - Comoros exit AFCON after valiant display in 2 - 1 loss to Cameroon

Australia Open: Rafael Nadal looking foward to Dennis Shapolavov clash

Australia Open: Rafael Nadal looking foward to Dennis Shapolavov clash