The former leader of the world ranking of doubles players was lost in the beginning of November and it was not known for a long time what was happening to her. In a post posted on November 2 on the Weibo platform, Peng Shuai accused former deputy prime minister of the Chinese government, Gaola Zhang, of forcing sex years ago, although their relationship was later voluntary. She did not provide details, but admitted that she could not prove the accusations. The post was deleted about half an hour after publication. The competitor herself has also disappeared.
In the face of mounting public questions around the world, the Chinese government has released photos to show that Shuai is doing well and is safe. On November 21, IOC President Thomas Bach had a 30-minute conversation with Peng, during which the athlete assured him that everything was fine and that she was looked after by her family and friends. However, the tennis fans themselves do not believe these statements and believe that Peng is under pressure from Chinese politicians. Peng was supposed to look relaxed, but what in reality was unknown because the video was not shared on the network.
The IOC authorities offered the tennis star “extensive support”. The WTA announced the suspension of all women’s tournaments in China. The e-mail from Peng was to receive CNN. Chinese reporter Shen Shiwei revealed that the email from Shuai “expressed her shock at the WTA’s unfair decision to suspend all tournaments in China.” It is not known, however, whether it really came from the player herself.
WTA President and CEO Steve Simon reiterated his decision. “I don’t see it at all, how could I ask our players to compete in China when Peng Shuai is unable to communicate freely and has apparently been forced to deny the allegation of sexual assault,” said Simon. “ Given the current state of affairs, I am also very concerned about the risks all our players and staff would face if we were to host more events in China in 2022, ” he concluded.