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WTA head says ban on Chinese events to continue until Peng Shuai resolution reached

  • Women's Tennis Association (WTA) CEO Steve Simon said the body will be continuing the blanket ban it announced last year until they are assured of Peng Shuai’s safety.
  • The three-time Olympian and grand slam doubles champion vanished from social media in November last year after she made a sexual assault accusation against retired Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.
  • Peng later denied the allegations, and discussions about it have since been scrubbed from the Chinese internet.
  • In February, Peng met with officials from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the Beijing Winter Games but Simon said it was not enough to ensure Peng's safety.
  • "We remain dedicated to finding a resolution to this," Simon was quoted as saying. "We want to find a resolution that Peng can be comfortable with, the Chinese government can be comfortable with, and we can be comfortable with.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has announced that it will continue its suspension of all tournaments in China this year as it continues to seek answers about Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai’s situation.

The international body expressed concern about the three-time Olympian and grand slam doubles champion when she vanished from the public eye in November last year after accusing retired Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault. 

Peng Shuai says her sexual assault allegations were a ‘huge misunderstanding’ in rare interview

Peng Shuai
  • Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai held her first Western media interview since her disappearance in November 2021 with French sports magazine L'Équipe on Sunday at the Chinese Olympic Committee’s hotel in Beijing.
  • The three-time Chinese Olympian said her now-deleted Weibo post was a “huge misunderstanding” and hoped that people do not add more hype to the issue. She said she removed the Weibo post, because she "wanted to."
  • Peng denied making sexual assault allegations against former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli, whom she accused of sexual coercion in a Weibo post in November 2021.
  • The 36-year-old tennis star also hinted that she might retire from tennis.

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has denied the sexual assault allegations she made against a retired top Chinese Communist Party official last year, saying it was a “huge misunderstanding.”

In an interview with French sports magazine L’Équipe, the 36-year-old athlete’s first Western media interview since her disappearance in November 2021, Peng revealed nothing much has changed in her life, The Washington Post reported.

Australian Open reverses ban after outcry over confiscation of fans’ ‘Where is Peng Shuai?’ shirts

  • A viral Tiktok showed security officers at the Australian Open confiscating fans’ shirts and banners that expressed support to Chinese athlete Peng Shuai.
  • After facing heavy criticism, the Australian Open organizers released a statement saying fans are not allowed to hold political protests at the tournament.
  • Peng Shuai, 36, is a popular Chinese athlete who suddenly vanished from the public eye in November last year after accusing a former top-ranking Communist Party officer of sexual abuse. She denied ever making the accusation a month later.
  • Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley backtracked on the ban days later.

Tennis Australia, the organizing body of the Australian Open, sparked online criticism after a video emerged on TikTok showing fans being prohibited from wearing shirts that reference Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai at the tournament.

The video, which was posted on TikTok over the weekend by human rights activist Drew Pavlou, shows security officers at Melbourne Park confiscating shirts and banners emblazoned with the phrase “Where is Peng Shuai?”, reported ESPN

China tennis star Peng Shuai denies she made sexual assault allegations in new video

Peng Shuai

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai now denies in new video that she was sexually assaulted. 

A misunderstanding: Peng, the world’s No. 1 doubles player in 2014, said in a public statement on Sunday that people misunderstood her Weibo post from Nov. 2 in which she alleged former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli sexually assaulted her in 2018 at his home, Reuters reported.

WTA suspends all games in China over ‘serious doubts’ about Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai’s safety

WTA to suspend games in China

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has officially announced its decision to suspend all tournaments in China and Hong Kong, further pressuring Beijing to investigate Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai’s accusation against a former top Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official.

Tournament suspension: In a statement released on Wednesday, WTA CEO and chairman Steve Simon announced that all tournaments set to take place in China and Hong Kong would be suspended amid the growing concern over Peng’s safety.

Chinese athlete Peng Shuai, missing over two weeks after MeToo allegations, reemerges in private video call

Tennis star Peng Shuai appears in IOC video

For the first time since her weeks-long disappearance, Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has finally reappeared, telling International Olympics Committee (IOC) officials that she is “safe and well” during a 30-minute private video call.

The video call: Peng, 35, spoke to IOC President Thomas Bach, Athletes Commission Chair Emma Terho and Li Lingwei, an IOC member and former vice president of the Chinese Tennis Association, during the call on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

Tennis stars ask #WhereIsPengShuai, WTA threatens to pull out of China over her disappearance

Missing Tennis Star Peng Shuai

Members of the international tennis community have voiced their concerns over the mysterious and sudden disappearance of Peng Shuai, one of China’s star athletes, following a sexual allegation post against a former top official that was shared on Chinese social media early in November.

Where is Peng Shuai: Athletes and tennis personalities are rallying on Twitter to express their concern and call for an investigation of the 35-year-old former doubles No. 1’s sudden disappearance, according to Reuters.

State-run media outlet shares email purported to be from missing Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai

peng shuai missing tennis player sexual assault

An email purportedly penned by tennis star Peng Shuai declaring she’s neither missing nor unsafe emerged via the Twitter account of Chinese state-run platform CGTN on Wednesday.

Curveball: The email, which also backpedals on Peng’s previous allegations of sexual assault against China’s former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, was reportedly sent to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Chairman and CEO Steve Simon, CNN reported.

#WhereIsPengShuai: Tennis star now missing after her Me Too accusations against ex-CCP official

WTA Women's Tennis Association Peng Shuai

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has expressed concern about the safety and whereabouts of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai after she recently accused a former state leader of sexual assault. 

A star athlete’s claims: Peng, the world’s No. 1 doubles player in 2014, alleged in a Nov. 2 Weibo post that former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli had forced her into sex after inviting her to dinner with him and his wife three years ago, NextShark previously reported.

US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez and her father give emotional thanks for how Canada ‘opened their doors’ to their immigrant family

Leylah Fernandez and family on tennis journey, canada

After a hard-fought run in the U.S. Open, finalist Leylah Fernandez reflected on her time up until that point and how it “meant the world” to her.

The Journey: On Monday, Leylah, 19, joined the Today” show to talk about how her tennis journey to the finals impacted her family and why she will continue to fight for her dreams.