MX23RW : Thursday, January 20 13:37:35| >> :600:3789242:3789242:

WTA chief claims Peng Shuai emails are "100% orchestrated"

WTA chief claims Peng Shuai emails are
© Reuters
WTA Ceo Steve Simon claims that emails supposedly sent from Chinese player Peng Shuai are "100% orchestrated".

The CEO of the Women's Tennis Association has claimed that emails received from Peng Shuai last month were "100% orchestrated".

The Chinese player disappeared from the public eye after accusing former vice premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault, sparking international concern over her safety.

Shuai has since taken part in video calls with the IOC and supposedly wrote emails to the WTA confirming her safety, but Steve Simon does not believe that the 35-year-old is truly free.

Speaking to Tennishead via Tennis World USA, Simon said: "When you come out with the allegations that Peng did early in November, they were significant and they were detailed.

"And now to be receiving the emails and the correspondence from her that certainly are very – they're just 100% orchestrated, and I do not think that they reflect what the allegations did and the true position.

"We don't have a lot of contact coming out of the region. The contact that we've had has basically been consistent. She's in Beijing, She's fine, she's under no physical stress, etc.

"We have two principle points right now. We definitely want to confirm Peng is available to speak without censorship, any pressures or any restrictions in any way and we do want a full and transparent investigation into these very serious allegations."

The WTA announced last week that it was suspending all tournaments in China amid concern over Shuai's safety, but the ITF has affirmed that they will not follow suit and "punish 1.4 billion people".

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Peng Shuai in action in January 2019
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