The WTA has confirmed that tournaments won't be returning to China until the Peng Shuai situation is fully cleared and resolved. In late 2021, former two-time Grand Slam doubles champion Peng accused China's former Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault.
The post that Peng made on social media was quickly removed and she disappeared for a few weeks. After Peng was shown in public and allowed to give an interview to L'Equipe during the Beijing Olympics, she insisted that she was fine, never assaulted and that she abruptly retired because she was in her thirties and struggling with injuries.
But the WTA didn't change their stance and China didn't host a single WTA tournament in 2022. The WTA's 2023 calendar has been only confirmed through the US Open.
The WTA's latest statement regarding the Peng Case
"There has not been any change in the WTA position on a return to China and we have only confirmed our 2023 calendar through US Open.
A return to the region will require a resolution to the Peng situation in which she took a bold step in publicly coming forth with the accusation that she was sexually assaulted by a senior Chinese government leader. As we would do with any of our players globally, we have called for a formal investigation into the allegations by the appropriate authorities and an opportunity for the WTA to meet with Peng - privately - to discuss her situation," the WTA said in a statement.
For a year now, the WTA has been pushing to meet with Peng personally. But their requests have been repeatedly denied. "We continue to hold firm on our position and our thoughts remain with Peng. The WTA continues to work towards a resolution.
While we have always indicated we are hopeful we will be in a position to again operate WTA events in the region, we will not compromise our founding principles in order to do so," the WTA added in their statement.
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