The WTA, the international association for women tennis players, is prepared to stop organizing tennis tournaments in China. Reuters news agency reported this on Friday. The tennis association wants the Chinese authorities to clarify the fate of the disappeared tennis star Peng Shuai.
Putting money into action could cost the WTA tens of millions of dollars in revenue. CEO Steve Simon says he is willing to bear the financial consequences: “This is bigger than the business. Women should be respected, not censored.” The union wants that “honest, transparent and without censorship” research is done according to Shuai’s accusations.
Shuai accused former vice president of China Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault in early November. Nothing more has been heard from her since then. The state medium CGTN published an email from Shuai on Wednesday in which she denies having been a victim of sexual violence. The WTA strongly doubts the authenticity of the email.
China will host the upcoming Winter Olympics, which start in February. The International Olympic Committee has said it will not comment publicly on the matter. It prefers to focus on ‘silent diplomacy’.
Also read: Serious doubts about the authenticity of the e-mail of missing tennis star Peng Shuai
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