No mention of joining WTA in suspending tournaments in China in ITF statement



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No mention of joining WTA in suspending tournaments in China in ITF statement

The ITF insists it is concerned about Peng Shuai's well-being but they haven't mentioned joining the WTA in suspending tournaments that are scheduled to take place in China next year. After two weeks of threatening they would suspend all tournaments in China if they didn't get a verifiable proof Peng was safe, the WTA made a radical stand on Wednesday.

"The International Tennis Federation, as the governing body of tennis, stands in support of all women’s rights," the ITF's statement read, as revealed by Eleanor Crooks. "Our primary concern remains Peng Shuai's well-being.

The allegations Peng made must be addressed. We will continue to support all efforts being made to that end, both publicly and behind the scenes."

The WTA further stand behind Peng

After failing to get into a direct communication with Peng, the WTA had no choice but to make a radical decision and to suspend all tournaments scheduled for China in 2022.

"As a result, and with the full support of the WTA Board of Directors, I am announcing the immediate suspension of all WTA tournaments in China, including Hong Kong. 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.

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," WTA CEO Steve Simon said in a statement released on Wednesday.

"I very much regret it has come to this point. The tennis communities in China and Hong Kong are full of great people with whom we have worked for many years. They should be proud of their achievements, hospitality and success.

However, unless China takes the steps we have asked for, we cannot put our players and staff at risk by holding events in China. China’s leaders have left the WTA with no choice. I remain hopeful that our pleas will be heard and the Chinese authorities will take steps to legitimately address this issue”.