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Video of Peng Shuai With Olympic Officials Fuels a Showdown With Tennis

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According to the I.O.C. assertion, Bach invited Peng to a dinner when he arrives for the Games in Beijing, which would come with Terho and Li Lingwei, an I.O.C. member and Chinese Tennis Federation official who additionally participated within the name.

However, the seemingly pleasant banter and dinner plans did little to fulfill Steve Simon, the chief govt of the WTA Tour. Simon has been attempting to ascertain impartial contact with Peng for greater than a week to no avail and has grown more and more strident in his criticism of the Chinese authorities as its government-controlled media entities launched a sequence of images and movies of her.

In a assertion on Sunday following the discharge of the I.O.C. video, a spokesperson for the WTA and Simon mentioned, “It was good to see Peng Shuai in recent videos, but they don’t alleviate or address the WTA’s concern about her well-being and ability to communicate without censorship or coercion. This video does not change our call for a full, fair and transparent investigation, without censorship, into her allegation of sexual assault, which is the issue that gave rise to our initial concern.”

While a number of high sports activities officers have spoken out on Peng’s behalf, and requested the “Where is Peng Shuai” query that has gone viral in latest weeks, solely Simon has made it clear that his group is not going to maintain any tournaments in China if the federal government doesn’t grant her permission to maneuver freely, communicate overtly in regards to the assault allegations and examine the incident.

The transfer might price girls’s professional tennis a whole lot of tens of millions of {dollars} of funding from China, however in a letter to China’s ambassador to the U.S. on Friday, Simon reiterated the group’s place. He mentioned the WTA wouldn’t be capable of proceed to carry its 9 occasions in China, together with the celebrated Tour Finals, scheduled to happen in Shenzhen by 2028, if he couldn’t assure the protection of tennis gamers within the nation.

The males’s professional tour has additionally demanded assurance of Peng’s security however has not threatened to cease holding tournaments in China, which has broadly been considered as a main development marketplace for all sports activities however presents vital ethical hazards for anybody conducting enterprise with an more and more authoritarian authorities.

“Money trumps everything,” mentioned Martina Navratilova, the previous champion and tennis commentator, who defected to the United States when she was 18 years previous to flee communist rule in Czechoslovakia.