Peng was feared to be held incommunicado by the Chinese language authorities after she accused retired Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her into intercourse throughout a years-long on-off relationship.
The quick response from Chinese language authorities was to censor any point out of the allegations on-line and block Peng’s Weibo account from search outcomes.
Peng disappeared from public view for greater than two weeks, prompting the world’s largest tennis stars and the United Nations to demand solutions as to her whereabouts — properly as a full investigation into her towards Zhang.
Peng, a three-time Olympian and grand slam doubles champion, later denied having made the sexual assault declare.
“I’ve by no means spoken or written about anybody sexually assaulting me,” Peng advised Singapore-based Chinese language-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao in December 2021.
WTA Chairman Steve Simon said on the time of the WTA’s ban in China: “I do not see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai just isn’t allowed to speak freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of sexual assault.
“Given the present state of affairs, I’m additionally drastically involved in regards to the dangers that every one of our gamers and employees may face if we have been to carry occasions in China in 2022.”
In Tuesday’s assertion, the WTA stated the season-ending WTA Finals will likely be held in Shenzhen, China, in 2023, whereas this yr’s version — initially slated to be hosted within the Asian nation — will likely be held in Fort Value, Texas , starting October 31.
CNN has reached out to the WTA and Simon for remark now that the tour has determined to return to China.
In August, Worldwide Tennis Federation (ITF) president David Haggerty advised CNN he spoke to Peng about six weeks in the past and he or she seems to be protected.
Haggerty admitted that he had not seen Peng in individual, however had spoken to her through video convention.