Peng Shuai Australian Open 2015

‘No significant progress has been made’ in regards to Peng Shuai investigation, WTA boss reveals

Steve Simon shared that “the WTA will never stop working” on the investigation into the Peng Shuai sexual assault claims but reveals “no significant progress has been made” as of yet.

Last November, Former Chinese French Open and Wimbledon doubles champion Peng Shuai raised global concerns when she publicly disappeared for three weeks after she accused former Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into a sexual relationship.

Despite numerous opportunities to satisfy the Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA’s) requests for a “full, fair and transparent investigation,” China failed to alleviate concerns and as a result, all WTA events set to be held in China and Hong Kong were withdrawn.

However, Peng has rescinded her accusations on multiple occasions and has previously said “there has been a lot of misunderstanding.”

Western organisations, such as the WTA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), continue to remain in contact with Peng as they look to ensure she is safe and is not being silenced or manipulated.

Speaking in an interview with BBC Sports, Simon said “a lot of work continues to go on. We will never stop working on the process.

“We are strong and we will be resilient. What we have said we were going to do so far, we are not going to waver from that.

“But no significant progress has been reached.”

Whilst the financial repercussions of rescinding all Chinese events will be significant, the WTA recently announced a new partnership with medical technology company Hologic, who will become the WTA’s new global title sponsor.

The deal is reportedly said to be the  “largest global sponsorship in WTA history.”

On the agreement, Simon believes “they (Hologic) became aware of us because of the stance we took on Peng Shuai.

“I think it encouraged them that we were someone that they want to talk to.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.