WTA Tour set to return to China in 2023 following suspension over Peng Shuai situation
The WTA Tour will return to China in 2023 following a two-month suspension after the Chinese Tennis Association ordered a suspension of Peng Shuai’s visa after it was learned that she had left Wuhan in China, according to the WTA’s Director General, Nick Bollettieri.
In a statement, the WTA said the suspension will be lifted if Peng has “remained in Wuhan by the end of this week, or if she is on a valid visa.”
Earlier, WTF, the Chinese Tennis Federation’s regulator, called the suspension a “mistake” and said that it would be lifted according to its ruling if Peng returns to the country within five days. The incident came just two months before the two-year anniversary of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
Wuhan’s Wuhan Municipal Government also confirmed that Peng had left the city’s Wuhan International Airport on March 20, 2019, after she had gone on a domestic flight at the airport. She was reportedly scheduled to fly to Beijing, but after she entered the country, it was discovered that she had not arrived.
The two-month suspension comes after the Wuhan Municipal Government released a statement that said: “On March 20, 2020, the Wuhan Municipal People’s Government received news showing that Peng Shuai left for Wuhan on March 18, 2020, before boarding a flight to Beijing. The Wuhan Municipal People’s Government then sent a message to the Wuhan Municipal People’s Government by telephone for further inquiry.”
The two-month suspension was announced on January 14 by WTF.
The Wuhan Municipal Government said at the time that the suspension would be reviewed and corrected if a “reasonable explanation” was provided.
The Wuhan Municipal People’s Government later released a statement saying that the decision was a “mistake” and that it was “not a decision to punish Peng.”
“The Wuhan Municipal People’s Government has not yet discussed the case with the Wuhan Municipal People’s Government, and there is not enough evidence to decide whether we will punish Peng,” the statement said. “No sanctions will be imposed at present. If Peng has returned to Wuhan by the end of next week, or if she is on a valid visa, the Wuhan Municipal