Peng Shuai US Open 2014

WTA is ‘very proud’ of Peng Shuai in latest from CEO

CEO Steve Simon has spoken on Peng Shuai personally since releasing the WTA statement on withdrawing from China.

After the WTA was not satisfied with how the accusations made by Peng Shuai are being handled, the organisation announced its immediate suspension of all events in China and Hong Kong.

Now, Simon has backed up his move with more explanation of the principles behind the move, as well as indirectly addressing Peng Shuai herself.

“As we’ve said before this is about the principles we stand for and the principles of women associated with sexual assault, which trumps everything else,” Simon told CNN.

“I can only imagine the range of emotions and feelings that are likely going through Peng [Shuai] right now.

“We hope she feels that none of this is her fault and we’re very proud of her.

“But this is something we can’t walk away from. If we walk away from this we’re basically telling the world that not addressing sexual assault with the respect and seriousness it requires is ok because it’s difficult to do.

“It’s something we simply cannot [let] happen and it’s not what we stand for as an organisation.”

This is the extent to which WTA officials have been able to communicate with Peng Shuai she made her accusations of sexual assault against former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli on 2nd November.

The IOC are the only outside organisation that have been successful in directly communicating with Shuai, doing so twice over video call.

Neither call has been made public, with only still images of IOC president Thomas Bach conversing with Shuai being shared.

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