MADRID, 19 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The WTA is willing to assume the millionaire losses that it would lose its ties with China if it does not shed all the light on the case of the tennis player Peng Shuai, who is currently missing after having denounced the sexual harassment of the former deputy prime minister of her country.
“We are willing to withdraw our businesses from there and deal with all the complications that it entails because this is really much more important than the business. Women must be respected and not censored,” said Steve Simon, CEO in an interview with US CNN. of the WTA, a circuit that has several tournaments in the Asian ‘giant’, including the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.
Peng has not been seen in public since she accused Zhang Gaoli, a former Chinese vice premier, of forcing her to have sex at his home. The tennis player, former number one in the world in doubles and double champion of ‘Grand Slam’ in this modality, did so through a publication on the social network ‘Weibo’, which was eliminated after 30 minutes, as well as all traces of mention.
Simon assured that they have spoken with the Chinese Tennis Association and that they have assured them that the player was safe and sound in Beijing, but that attempts to communicate directly with her had been unsuccessful.
“We have contacted her in all the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses that we have, and through other forms of contact, but to date we have not yet been able to obtain a response,” said the manager.
It also cast doubt on the alleged email he would have received from Peng stating that he was fine and backtracking on his accusations, and that it was published by Chinese state media.
For Simon, that ’email’ was a “prepared statement of some kind” and he cautioned that he had not yet received a follow-up response, despite having responded immediately. “If she was forced to write it or if someone wrote it for her, we do not know, but at this time I do not think it has any validity and we will not be comfortable until we have the opportunity to speak with her,” he stressed.