He Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) He ended his boycott in China more than a year after taking a stand in response to concerns about the safety of two-time Grand Slam doubles champion Peng Shuai.

In 2021, the 37-year-old Peng made a social media post accusing a high-ranking government official in the ruling. Chinese Communist Party to force her to have sex. She was missing for several weeks before retracting her accusation and making what many perceived as a choreographed appearance at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Peng Shuai of China, wearing a face mask, watches an event. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)

The WTA responded to concerns about Peng’s safety by suspending its operations in China, but after 16 months and «no sign of change», the tour announced on Thursday that it would go ahead.

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«After 16 months of suspended tennis competition in China and sustained efforts to achieve our original requests, the situation shows no signs of changing,» the WTA said in a press release. «We have come to the conclusion that we will never fully achieve those goals, and it will be our players and tournaments who will ultimately pay an extraordinary price for their sacrifices.»

Supporters of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai attend the women's final at the Australian Open in Melbourne on January 29, 2022.

Supporters of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai attend the women’s final at the Australian Open in Melbourne on January 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

«For these reasons, the WTA is lifting the suspension of the operation of tournaments in the People’s Republic of China (‘PRC’) and will resume tournaments in China this September.»

The WTA aimed to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the accusations leveled in November 2021 and requested that someone within the tour meet with Peng, but those two goals were never really achieved.

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“The stance we took at that time was appropriate. And we keep it. But after 16 months, we are convinced that our requests will not be met. And continuing with the same strategy makes no sense.” WTA President and CEO Steve Simon told The Associated Press in an interview published Thursday.

As for Peng’s safety, Simon added that the tour has «received assurances» from people close to the Chinese tennis star that «he is safe and lives with his family in Beijing.»

Peng Shuai serves to Nao Hibino during their first round singles match at the Australian Open in Melbourne on January 21, 2020.

Peng Shuai serves to Nao Hibino during their first round singles match at the Australian Open in Melbourne on January 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill, File)

«Peng cannot be forgotten through this process,» the WTA said in its press release. «It is important that our renewed engagement in China provides continued security for Peng and all female athletes who will benefit from our return to competition and the opportunities that tennis provides. It is essential that women’s voices are heard when they speak up. The WTA will continue to advocate for Peng and the advancement of women around the world.»

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The tour plans to resume play in China from September and will include the season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

Associated Press contributed to this report.