WTA CEO Steve Simon stated that Peng Shuai is safe.
Chinese player Peng accused a former vice premier of the country of sexual assault in 2021 through her social media channels and then disappeared from public view. In light of the controversy, the WTA decided not to hold tournaments in the country until there was clear information about Peng's whereabouts.
The President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, met with Peng during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, but many considered it to be staged. The Chinese tennis player abruptly left the tour, and fans from around the world have raised banners saying "Where is Peng Shuai?"
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"The WTA knows that she is safe and knows where she is," Steve Simon said to L'Equipe.
"We have taken a very strong stance in China, which very few companies or industries have done.
According to the CEO of the WTA, they now have clarity regarding the situation of the Chinese tennis player, so tournaments will return to the Asian country.
"Almost two years later, the progress we wanted to see in China has not led to a solution.
"So it was time to change our approach.
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"We were reassured by the fact that Peng Shuai is safe and we know where she is.
An official statement from the WTA confirmed that the ban on China is lifted.
"After 16 months of suspended tennis competition and sustained efforts at achieving our original requests, the situation has shown no sign of changing".
"We have concluded we will never fully secure those goals, and it will be our players and tournaments who ultimately will be paying an extraordinary price for their sacrifices," the organisation added.
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