Advertisement

ITF says it won't 'punish' people in China over concerns for tennis player Peng Shuai

1/4
ITF says it won't 'punish' people in China over concerns for tennis player Peng Shuai
Shuai Peng of China reacts after winning a point in a match against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on August 27, 2014. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Just days after the Women's Tennis Association said it would not stage any tournaments in China over concern about the well-being of Peng Shuai, the International Tennis Federation has declined to do the same.

The ITF, which organizes tennis' Grand Slam events and men's and women's team tournaments, has been facing calls to snub China over concerns about Peng's safety after she was not seen or heard for weeks following a sexual assault accusation she made on social media a month ago.

Advertisement

Peng has since participated in two calls with the International Olympic Committee and said she is fine, but not everyone is satisfied.

The WTA last Wednesday said it wouldn't stage any tournaments in China due to the way the country has handled her sexual abuse accusation against former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.

RELATED WTA suspends tournaments in China over Peng Shuai allegations

Tennis player Peng Shuai of China is a former world No. 1 doubles player. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI

In defending its decision Sunday, the ITF said it doesn't want to "punish a billion people" by canceling Chinese tournaments.

"You have to remember that the ITF is the governing body of the sport worldwide, and one of the things that we are responsible for is grassroots development," ITF President David Haggerty told BBC Sports.

Advertisement

"We don't want to punish a billion people, so we will continue to run our junior events in the country and our senior events that are there for the time being."

RELATED IOC official 'disappointed' in ongoing concern for Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai

Last week, the ITF released a statement saying that Peng's accusations against Zhang "must be addressed" and that its primary concern is for her well-being.

"We will continue to support all efforts being made to that end, both publicly and behind the scenes."

RELATED Chinese gov't says concern over safety of tennis player Peng Shuai 'maliciously hyped'

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement