Steve Simon proclaims WTA's determination to droop tournaments in China – WTA Tennis

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Assertion by Steve Simon, WTA Chairman & CEO
“When on November 2, 2021, Peng Shuai posted an allegation of sexual assault towards a high Chinese language authorities official, the Ladies’s Tennis Affiliation acknowledged that Peng Shuai’s message needed to be listened to and brought severely. The gamers of the WTA, to not point out girls around the globe, deserve nothing much less.
From that second ahead, Peng Shuai demonstrated the significance of talking out, notably with regards to sexual assault, and particularly when highly effective persons are concerned. As Peng mentioned in her put up, “Even whether it is like an egg hitting a rock, or if I’m like a moth drawn to the flame, inviting self-destruction, I’ll inform the reality about you.” She knew the risks she would face, but she went public anyway. I like her power and braveness.
Since then, Peng’s message has been faraway from the web and dialogue of this severe situation has been censored in China. Chinese language officers have been offered the chance to stop this censorship, verifiably show that Peng is free and in a position to communicate with out interference or intimidation, and examine the allegation of sexual assault in a full, honest and clear method.  Sadly, the management in China has not addressed this very severe situation in any credible manner. Whereas we now know the place Peng is, I’ve severe doubts that she is free, secure and never topic to censorship, coercion and intimidation. The WTA has been clear on what is required right here, and we repeat our name for a full and clear investigation – with out censorship – into Peng Shuai’s sexual assault accusation.
None of that is acceptable nor can it turn out to be acceptable. If highly effective folks can suppress the voices of ladies and sweep allegations of sexual assault beneath the rug, then the idea on which the WTA was based – equality for ladies – would endure an immense setback. I cannot and can’t let that occur to the WTA and its gamers. 
Consequently, and with the complete help of the WTA Board of Administrators, I’m saying the fast suspension of all WTA tournaments in China, together with Hong Kong. In good conscience, I don’t see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai is just not allowed to speak freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of sexual assault. Given the present state of affairs, I’m additionally tremendously involved in regards to the dangers that each one of our gamers and employees may face if we had been to carry occasions in China in 2022.
I’ve been gratified by the huge quantity of worldwide help the WTA has acquired for its place on this matter. To additional shield Peng and plenty of different girls all through the world, it’s extra pressing than ever for folks to talk out. The WTA will do the whole lot attainable to guard its gamers. As we achieve this, I hope leaders around the globe will proceed to talk out so justice may be accomplished for Peng, and all girls, irrespective of the monetary ramifications.
I very a lot remorse it has come so far. The tennis communities in China and Hong Kong are filled with nice folks with whom we now have labored for a few years. They need to be happy with their achievements, hospitality and success. Nevertheless, except China takes the steps we now have requested for, we can’t put our gamers and employees in danger by holding occasions in China. China’s leaders have left the WTA with no selection. I stay hopeful that our pleas might be heard and the Chinese language authorities will take steps to legitimately tackle this situation.”
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Elena Rybakina joins the WTA Insider podcast after her Wimbledon triumph to mirror on her extraordinary fortnight.
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