ITF chief supports women’s rights but won’t suspend tournaments in China over Peng Shuai case

China's Peng Shuai in action

International Tennis Federation (ITF) President David Haggerty insists although his organisation supports all women’s rights they don’t want to punish a billion people by suspending tournaments in China in light of the Peng Shuai situation.

This comes after the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) suspended tournaments in China immediately following a backlash after former doubles world No 1 Peng accused a top government official of sexual assault.

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The 35-year-old Peng, in a deleted post in November, accused retired Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of pressuring her into having sex.

However, the men’s professional tennis association, the ATP said it won’t follow suit and suspend tournaments.

Haggerty warns against punishing ordinary citizens.

“As the governing body of tennis, we stand in support of all women’s rights,” David Haggerty has told BBC Sport.

“The allegations need to be looked into, and we will continue to work behind the scenes and directly to bring this to resolution.”

He added: “But 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.

“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.”