Rio Olympics: Peng Shuai’s safety assured – WTA chief

Peng Shuai will travel to the US after Rio following her first round exit at the Open

WTA chief Steve Simon has said the organisation will only “comply” with assurances that Peng Shuai’s safety is assured after a video of her was released on social media.

In a video posted on Instagram on Sunday, China’s Peng said she was “safe and secure” at Rio’s Olympic village before she left on 10 July.

Speaking on American talk show “Morning Joe”, Simon said that “this is insufficient”.

The Chinese player has faced accusations of trying to break the rules.

She reportedly reached for her phone when an opponent was playing in the first round of the Olympics and refused to return it after it was returned to her.

Both the Rio Olympic Committee and Peng later apologised, according to the BBC’s senior Beijing correspondent Jonathan Head.

On Tuesday, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua also apologised and asked the sport’s governing body, the WTA, to “proceed cautiously” from Peng’s case.

In her video, posted in English and French, Peng said: “Sorry if this surprises you, but I don’t want to press any points if it’s going to be involved.

“I know you guys are friendly with Rio. I apologise for bringing problems but you know, Rio is Rio and I love it. I’m in the Olympic village. I’m very comfortable.”

Simon said Peng had been “running into complications” from the start of her Olympics campaign

Simon said: “In the final analysis, that video seems to not only exonerate one individual [Peng] but to say that this is insufficient.”

He added that the WTA could only “counsel” herself in the Peng case to ensure she is given the “highest level of protection” and her obligations remain “in full compliance with our code”.

After her first-round exit at the Rio Olympics, Peng withdrew from doubles and singles competitions, but did not rule out playing again.

Should Peng choose to try and compete at another Grand Slam event, it could put her at odds with the match-fixing scandal that has rocked the game.

More than 100 players are reported to have been punished by the International Tennis Federation after it uncovered a match-fixing scandal at Wimbledon in June.

In August last year, Indian tennis player Anand Amritraj was found guilty of playing fixed matches. He was banned for life and banned from becoming a player for six years.

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