WTA’s hardline approach to Peng Shuai presents China with new problem

Analysis: Up to now sports associations have rapidly backed down from rows with Beijing

It is perhaps no coincidence that Chinese state media published an email purportedly written by the missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai shortly after reports emerged that the Biden administration was mulling a “diplomatic boycott” of February’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.

China says the Games are apolitical and – in the words of its embassy in Washington – “a grand gathering for countries and a fair stage for athletes from all over the world to compete”.

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