The WTA has confirmed that tournaments will not return to China until Peng Shuai’s situation is fully clarified and resolved. In late 2021, former two-time Grand Slam doubles champion Peng accused former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault.
The post Peng made on social media was quickly deleted, and she disappeared for a few weeks. After Peng went public and was allowed to give an interview to L’Equipe during the Beijing Olympics, she insisted that she was fine, that she was never assaulted, and that she abruptly withdrew because she was in her thirties and struggling. against injuries.
But the WTA did not change its stance, and China did not host a single WTA tournament in 2022. The WTA schedule for 2023 was only confirmed through the US Open.
The latest statement from the WTA on the Peng Case
«There has been no change to the WTA position on the return to China and we have only confirmed our 2023 schedule via the US Open.
A return to the region will require a resolution to Peng’s situation in which she took a bold step by publicly coming forward with the allegation that she was sexually assaulted by a senior Chinese government leader. As we would with any of our players globally, we have requested a formal investigation into the allegations by the appropriate authorities and an opportunity for the WTA to meet with Peng, in private, to discuss her situation,» the WTA said in a statement. a statement. .
For a year now, the WTA has been pushing for a face-to-face meeting with Peng. But her requests have been repeatedly denied. «We continue to stand firm in our position and our thoughts remain with Peng. The WTA continues to work towards a resolution.
While we have always indicated that we are hopeful that we will be in a position to again operate WTA events in the region, we will not compromise our founding principles in doing so,» the WTA added in its statement.