WTA to AP: Loss of China events over Peng could go past '22 | AP News

12/2/2021 11:01:00 AM

The head of the women’s professional tennis tour tells @AP that the suspension of all WTA tournaments in China could extend beyond 2022 because of concerns about the safety of Grand Slam doubles champion Peng Shuai.

Sports, Tennis

The head of the women’s professional tennis tour tells AP that the suspension of all WTA tournaments in China could extend beyond 2022 because of concerns about the safety of Grand Slam doubles champion Peng Shuai.

The suspension of all WTA tournaments in China because of concerns about the safety of Peng Shuai, a Grand Slam doubles champion who accused a former government official there of sexual assault , could result in cancellations of those events beyond 2022, the head of the women's professional tennis tour told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

He said the move to put a halt to the tour’s play in China, including Hong Kong, came with the backing of the WTA Board of Directors, players, tournaments and sponsors. It is the strongest public stand against China taken by a sports body — and one that could cost the WTA millions of dollars.

“Our approach to this and our request to the authorities are consistent and they’ll stay there. We definitely would like to have our own discussion with Peng and be comfortable that she’s truly safe and free and has not been censored, intimidated or anything like that,” Simon told The AP. “We still haven’t been able to have that conversation to have the comfort that what we’re seeing isn’t being orchestrated, to date. The second element of that is that we want a full and transparent — without any level of censorship — investigation on the allegations that were made.”

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Olympics We must Nominate WTA for Times Person the year 2021for their Courageous actions against Dictators of China for muzzling away the Tennis star for speaking out on Chinese VP raping her.. Note, The Males dominated IOC, ATP, PGA etc don't have half the balls of WTA, hurray to WTA At least one professional sports league stands up to China. KingJames take note.

Should cancel the WinterOlympics in solidarity with the WTA Nice job pushing the anti-Asian narrative WTA. StopAsianHate This is just a political driven excuse to target China. Russian Maria Sharapova was caught doping and Russian Yana Sizikova was caught fixing matches. Why didn't you suspend Russian tournaments?

keep it up until they allow her---and everyone she cares about---out of China; once she's had a chance to defect to a safe asylum, *then* let the country back into good graces (whether she takes advantage of the opportunity or not). That's pathetic, WTA grand tour in China was suspended in JULY 2021 until further notice due to covid concerns.

Good for them 👏👏👏👏 Lebron said she’s fine. Bravo wto more corporation should follow this lead protecting MeToo victim and human rights.

WTA Suspends Tennis Tournaments in China as Concerns Over Peng Shuai Continue'I have serious doubts that [Peng Shuai] is free, safe and not subject to censorship, coercion and intimidation,' said WTA CEO Steven Simon.

WTA suspends all tournaments in China over Peng concernsWTA Tour chairman Steve Simon said Wednesday the women's tennis circuit is suspending all tournaments in China over concerns about the safety of Chinese player Peng Shuai. WTA doing the right thing, sad that the NBA is so focused on the money aspect that they continually look the other way and make excuses for the oppression and censorship from China.

WTA announces immediate suspension of tournaments in China amid concern for Peng ShuaiThe Women's Tennis Association (WTA) chairman and CEO Steve Simon has announced an immediate suspension of all WTA tournaments in China , including Hong Kong, saying it's based on a lack of transparency by Chinese officials over Peng Shuai's sitution rosemaryCNN Thank you WTA. FIFA is as powerful as the United Nations. If not more powerful!😆😅⚽⚽⚽ rosemaryCNN Where is Peng Shuai? It’s time to boycott the Olympics.

WTA suspends tournaments in China over Peng Shuai concernsWomen's Tennis Association suspends all tournaments in China over concerns about the safety of Peng Shuai, who accused a former government official of sexual assault

China Tennis Tournaments Suspended By Women’s Tennis Assn. Over Peng Shuai SituationExpressing concern for the health and safety of tennis star Peng Shuai, the Women’s Tennis Association announced Wednesday that it is suspending all of its tournaments in China . Peng has been… situation?

New US ambassador to New Zealand seeks to work with China | AP NewsWELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Tom Udall, the new U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, says he wants to find areas of common ground with China in a region where tensions often run high. Udall, a former U.S. In New Zealand, that would be at the local Pub .... (you all thought I was going to say the local sheep farm, didn't you?)

FILE - WTA CEO Steve Simon appears during a retirement ceremony for Martina Hingis in Singapore.Content warning: This post contains a mention of sexual assault.The WTA had planned 11 events in China this year before Covid-19 forced them to be relocated or cancelled.(CNN)The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) chairman and CEO Steve Simon has announced an immediate suspension of all WTA tournaments in China, including Hong Kong.

The suspension of all WTA tournaments in China because of concerns about the safety of Peng Shuai, a Grand Slam doubles champion who accused a former government official there of sexual assault, could result in cancellations of those events beyond 2022, Simon told The Associated Press on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. Amid ongoing concerns about the status of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who had disappeared from the public eye for 19 days after accusing a retired government official of sexual assault, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) has suspended all WTA tournaments in China, including Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim, File) The suspension of all WTA tournaments in China because of concerns about the safety of Peng Shuai, a Grand Slam doubles champion who accused a former government official there of sexual assault, could result in cancellations of those events beyond 2022, the head of the women’s professional tennis tour told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "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," Simon said. “We’re hopeful we get to the right place, but we are prepared, if it continues as it is — which hasn’t been productive to date — that we will not be operating in the region,” WTA President and CEO Steve Simon said in a video call from California. 1. “This is an organizational effort that is really addressing something that’s about what’s right and wrong.One of China's most recognizable sports stars, Peng publicly accused former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into sex at his home, according to screenshots of a since-deleted social media post dated November 2.

” He said the move to put a halt to the tour’s play in China, including Hong Kong, came with the backing of the WTA Board of Directors, players, tournaments and sponsors." Simon was referring to a Nov. Peng's claims against Zhang were the first time China's #MeToo movement has touched the highest echelons of the ruling Communist Party. It is the strongest public stand against China taken by a sports body — and one that could cost the WTA millions of dollars. Peng dropped out of public view after raising the allegations about former vice premier Zhang Gaoli in a Nov. A statement released by the IOC after the meeting said that Peng reported she is safe in Beijing and"would like to have her privacy respected at this time. 2 social media posting that was quickly taken down by Chinese authorities. "While we now know where Peng is, I have serious doubts that she is free, safe, and not subject to censorship, coercion, and intimidation," Simon said. In the month since, Simon has made repeated calls for China to carry out an inquiry into the 35-year-old Peng’s accusations and to allow the WTA to communicate directly with the former No. .Longtime IOC member Dick Pound said the"unanimous conclusion" by those on a call with Peng is that she is fine.

1-ranked doubles player and owner of titles at Wimbledon and the French Open. “Our approach to this and our request to the authorities are consistent and they’ll stay there. was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing fine, which was [their] main concern. If powerful people can suppress the voices of women and sweep allegations of sexual assault under the rug, then the basis on which the WTA was founded –- equality for women –- would suffer an immense setback. We definitely would like to have our own discussion with Peng and be comfortable that she’s truly safe and free and has not been censored, intimidated or anything like that,” Simon told The AP. “We still haven’t been able to have that conversation to have the comfort that what we’re seeing isn’t being orchestrated, to date."While it is positive to see her, it remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or external interference. The second element of that is that we want a full and transparent — without any level of censorship — investigation on the allegations that were made." "I very much regret it has come to this point," Simon said."As Peng said in her post, 'even if it is like an egg hitting a rock, or if I am like a moth drawn to the flame, inviting self-destruction, I will tell the truth about you.

” China typically hosts about 10 women’s tennis tournaments each year, including the prestigious season-ending WTA Finals, which are scheduled to be held there for a decade." On Nov. The nation is a source of billions of dollars in income for various sports entities based elsewhere, including the WTA (headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida), the NBA (run out of New York) and the International Olympic Committee (Lausanne, Switzerland). The post was taken down 30 minutes later, but screenshots from fans continued to circulate on social media." - 'Urgent' to speak out - The European Union, the United Nations, the United States and Britain have all called for proof of Peng's whereabouts and well-being. Simon said the suspension, announced Wednesday via a statement from him issued by the tour, means that tournaments could still end up being staged in China if its government follows through with his requests. If not, the events could be moved to other countries, as happened this year, when the tour’s Asian swing was called off because of COVID-19 concerns; the WTA Finals, for example, were shifted to Guadalajara, Mexico, last month. Global concerns were raised over her whereabouts by other athletes, like.Steve Simon speaks at a news conference at Singapore Sports Hub in 2018.

“We haven’t canceled, as of yet, but we’re prepared to get to that point,” Simon said on the video call." "The WTA will do everything possible to protect its players. “And that’ll be a point of discussion at some point: Where do you get to cancellation? Is it 2022 only? Is it for the future? I mean, those are all questions that will come down the road.” Beijing is set to host the Winter Games beginning on Feb. 4, and IOC President Thomas Bach said on Nov. "Chinese officials have been provided the opportunity to cease this censorship, verifiably prove that Peng is free and able to speak without interference or intimidation, and investigate the allegation of sexual assault in a full, fair, and transparent manner," Simon said. 21 that he spoke with Peng — a three-time Olympian — on a 30-minute video call. It remains unclear if Peng has reported her allegations to the police.

The IOC did not release video or a transcript of the exchange and said only that Bach reported that she said she was well. The IOC said in a statement that Peng appeared to be “doing fine” and said she had requested privacy. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting Recommended Stories EU wants 'verifiable proof' Chinese tennis player is safe The European Union said Tuesday that it wants China to release “verifiable proof" that tennis player Peng Shuai is safe and to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into her sexual assault allegations. The IOC did not explain how the call was arranged, although it has worked closely with the Chinese Olympic Committee and government officials to organize the upcoming Games. The European Union said Tuesday it wants China to offer “verifiable proof” that Peng is safe. A number of Chinese businesspeople, activists and ordinary people have disappeared in recent years after criticizing ruling Communist Party figures or in crackdowns on corruption or pro-democracy and labor rights campaigns.The WTA has yet to release the 2022 event calendar, but on average the professional tennis tour has held about 10 tournaments each year in China, including the season-ending WTA Finals.

A statement attributed to Peng two weeks and tweeted out by the international arm of Chinese state broadcaster CCTV included a retraction of her accusations. “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,” Simon said in the release announcing the suspensions. “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.” Asked twice about the WTA’s suspension of China tournaments and concerns about Peng Shuai’s safety, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin refused to address either of the issues. “We are always firmly opposed to acts that politicize sports,” Wang said in a one-sentence response to journalists at a daily ministry briefing."I very much regret it has come to this point.

In a tweet that was later deleted, the editor of hard-line nationalist Communist Party newspaper Global Times criticized the WTA for “coercing Peng Shuai to support the West’s attack on Chinese system.” The U.S. Tennis Association commended Simon and the WTA, tweeting a statement that read: “This type of leadership is courageous and what is needed to ensure the rights of all individuals are protected and all voices are heard.” International Tennis Federation spokeswoman Heather Bowler said the ITF Board would meet Thursday to discuss the matter. I remain hopeful that our pleas will be heard and the Chinese authorities will take steps to legitimately address this issue.

“I applaud Steve Simon and the WTA leadership for taking a strong stand on defending human rights in China and around the world,” International Tennis Hall of Fame member and women’s tennis pioneer Billie Jean King said. “The WTA has chosen to be on the right side of history in defending the rights of our players. This is yet another reason why women’s tennis is the leader in women’s sports.” Concerns about the censoring of Peng’s post and her subsequent disappearance from public view turned #WhereIsPengShuai into a trending topic on social media and drew support from tennis stars such as Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Martina Navratilova. But news of the first #MeToo case to reach the political realm in China has not been reported by the domestic media and online discussion of it has been highly censored.

“I can only imagine the range of emotions and feelings that Peng is likely going through right now. I hope she knows that none of this is her fault, and that we remain very proud of her extreme courage that she’s shown through this,” Simon told the AP. “But the one thing that we can’t do is walk away from this, because if we’re walking away from the key elements — which is obviously not only her well-being, but the investigation — then we’re telling the world that not addressing sexual assault with respect to the seriousness it requires is OK, because it’s too difficult. And it’s simply something that we can’t let happen.” ___ More AP tennis: https://apnews.

com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports AP NEWS .