But Simon stated that no just one involved with the WTA Tour, which includes officers and energetic gamers, had been ready to achieve her specifically to validate her standing.
“My knowing is that she is in Beijing in China, but I cannot ensure that for the reason that I have not spoken straight with her,” Simon mentioned.
Martina Navratilova, a previous No. 1 participant, was among the the tennis stars who supported the WTA Tour’s demand for motion on Peng’s accusations. “A really sturdy stance by the WTA — and the suitable stance,” Navratilova wrote on Twitter.
But Simon acknowledged that the tour may well have minor leverage to impact Chinese officialdom.
“It’s not known,” he mentioned. “I’m not sitting down below and wondering that I’m going to remedy the world’s complications by any suggests. But what I am in this article to do is that we have an athlete that’s aspect of the WTA household that is arrive out with serious allegations. We’re going to be 100 p.c supportive of that, and we want to see a complete investigation on this. If that isn’t the case and if they are not cooperative, then we’ll have to make some conclusions, and we’re prepared to do so, and that’s the greatest we can do. But we’re not likely to back again off this situation. It’s the ideal spot to be.”
Chinese authorities have retaliated towards sports activities leagues when confronted with outside criticism. In 2019, broadcasts of the N.B.A. had been temporarily halted on Chinese condition television when Daryl Morey, a former Houston Rockets government who is now with the Philadelphia 76ers, tweeted his solidarity with professional-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. The league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, later stated that the fallout experienced price tag the league hundreds of tens of millions of pounds. Very last thirty day period, Boston Celtics games ended up pulled from the Chinese internet soon after Enes Kanter, a single of the team’s gamers, termed President Xi Jinping of China a “brutal dictator” on social media.
“Look, I can’t communicate to the conclusions that the N.B.A. designed,” Simon claimed. “They had, definitely, different difficulties. But in this problem, the WTA concern is about potential sexual assault of a person of our gamers. That is one thing that basically simply cannot be compromised. And I consider if you glance at our entire world right now, and the way that selections are getting designed, there are just way far too several choices that are currently being compromised.”
The WTA Tour has significantly centered on the Chinese market place over the final decade, culminating with the 10-calendar year deal to phase the tour finals in Shenzhen that began in 2019. Simon claimed the Chinese organizers planned to invest “more than a single billion dollars” in excess of the everyday living of the deal, such as the value of a new stadium, and they doubled the event’s prize cash to $14 million. But the 2020 finals, alongside with most Chinese tournaments, were canceled due to the fact of the pandemic. None of the 11 scheduled WTA tournaments in China ended up held this year as China continued to restrict foreigners from coming into the country. The WTA has managed to fill the slots on the calendar with new or non permanent functions, often with more compact purses. The WTA Finals, which will conclude on Wednesday, were being moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, where by prize funds is a comparatively low $5 million but enthusiasm and crowds have been substantial.