WTA CEO Steve Simon has issued.an ultimatum to China as they are threatening to pull out all tournaments scheduled to take place in China in 2022 if Peng Shuai is not found. After accusing China's former vice premier Zhang of sexual assault, Peng went missing.
10 WTA tournaments are scheduled to take place in China in 2022. "If at the end of the day we don't see the appropriate results from this, we would be prepared to take that step and not operate our business in China, if that's what it came to," Simon said.
The biggest name to come out of the WTA Tour and speak over the Peng disappearance has been Naomi Osaka. "Hey everyone, not sure if you have been following the news but I was recently informed of a fellow tennis player that has gone missing shortly after revealing that she has been sexually abused.
Censorship is never OK at any cost, I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and OK. I'm in shock of the current situation and I'm sending love and light her way," Osaka said in a Twitter posted.
Peng reportedly sent a mail to the WTA on Wednesday
"Hello everyone, this is Peng Shuai.
Regarding the latest news posted on the official WTA website, the content of the message was not agreed with me and was published without my permission. The news published, including information about sexual abuse, is not true.
I have not disappeared or I was in danger. I was just resting at home and I was okay. Thanks again for taking care of me," reads a message presented to CGTN as an email by Peng Shuai to WTA head Steve Simon. “If the WTA still wants to publish news about me, please check with me first and publish it with my permission.
As a professional tennis player, I thank you all for your friendly attitude and attention. I hope to promote Chinese tennis in the future with you if you have I will have such an opportunity in the future. I hope Chinese tennis will get better and better," However, WTA CEO Simon said he's "having a hard time" believing it's actually sent by Peng.