Peng Shuai: ITF ‘doesn’t want to punish a billion people’ by suspending China’s championships

Chinese footballer Peng Shuai accused a senior Chinese official of sexual assault

The tennis board says it did not follow the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) in suspending tournaments in China because it “did not want to penalize a billion people”.

WTA has Tournaments stopped in the region Due to the ongoing concern of Chinese player Peng Shuai, who has accused a senior government official of sexual assault.

“As the governing body of tennis, we support all women’s rights,” said David Haggerty, president of the International Tennis Federation.

Peng, 35, was not seen for three weeks after her allegations were made public.

“The allegations need to be looked into and we will continue to work behind the scenes and directly to resolve this matter,” Hagerty told BBC Sport.

“But you have to remember that the ITF is the governing body for sport around the world, and one of the things we have a responsibility to do is to develop the grassroots.

“We don’t want to punish a billion people, so we will continue to run our events for the little ones in the country and our major events that are in place at the moment.”

The WTA said it had “serious doubts” that Ping was “free, safe and not intimidated” and was concerned about potential risks to players and staff if he continued with the events in China.

In response, China said it “opposes the politicization of sports”.

WTA President Steve Simon has been praised by many current and former players Putting principles above pockets.

However, the ATP, which oversees men’s tennis, was criticized For not following the position of the WTA.

A statement released by the ATP on Thursday said it believes “a global presence gives us the best opportunity… to make an impact.”

The ITF has repeatedly said that its primary concern is Bing’s well-being.

“We will continue to analyze the situation, but we feel that the growth of the grassroots and the availability of tennis is an important element,” Haggerty added.

“We will continue these efforts jointly with the Chinese Tennis Federation,” he added.

Bing has made two video calls with the International Olympic Committee, which says it will hold a “personal meeting” with the former number one doubles in January.

She disappeared after accusing former Vice Premier Zhang Qaoli of sexual assault, as global sports stars and governments called on China to provide proof that she was fine.

Zhang has not yet commented on the allegations.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo