Steve Simon, WTA Chairman & CEO, Challenges Veracity of Recent Video Posted by China State-Run Media of Peng Shuai
Controversy swirled after Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, a three-time Olympian and former No. 1-ranked women’s doubles player, accused Zhang Gaoli, a former member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Standing Committee of forcing her to have sex against her will. Then Peng Shuai disappeared.
She allegedly turned up in a photo over the weekend at a tournament. But Steve Simon, WTA Chairman & CEO, was not impressed, issuing the following statement:
“I am glad to see the videos released by China state-run media that appear to show Peng Shuai at a restaurant in Beijing. While it is positive to see her, it remains unclear if she is free and able to make decisions and take actions on her own, without coercion or external interference. This video alone is insufficient. As I have stated from the beginning, I remain concerned about Peng Shuai’s health and safety and that the allegation of sexual assault is being censored and swept under the rug. I have been clear about what needs to happen and our relationship with China is at a crossroads.”