Peng Shuai: WTA prepared to pull out of China over tennis star’s disappearance

Steve Simon tells US media that Peng’s wellbeing was ‘bigger than business’ and that ‘women need to be respected’

The Women’s Tennis Association is prepared to pull its tournaments out of China if they are not satisfied with the response to the sexual assault allegation made by former doubles world number one Peng Shuai, chief executive Steve Simon has told US media.

Peng has not been seen in public since she accused a former vice-premier of China, Zhang Gaoli, of sexual assault in a social media post that was deleted half an hour later. Peng, one of China’s biggest sporting stars, alleged on her Weibo social media account on 2 November that Zhang coerced her into sex and they later had an on-off consensual relationship. Peng also said in the post that she could provide no evidence to back her allegations.”

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