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Old 25th November 2021, 12:17 AM   #41
Planigale
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
I suspect that the debate in this thread is probably taking place in the absence of knowledge of something that's been fairly common currency in the world of elite women's tennis for quite some time now.

When a young kid (I mean around the age of 9-10) is showing serious tennis talent, that kid needs money and patronage to take their promise forwards, via intensive (and very expensive) training camps and funding of their amateur and early-pro careers, if they're to stand any realistic chance of becoming one of the world's top pros in the future.

In countries such as the US, UK, Australia and Germany, it's often the case that the kids either come from reasonably wealthy families, or else they are able to secure funding from transparent relationships with either financial institutions or national tennis associations (for example, Emma Raducanu's very expensive apprenticeship was funded partly by a financial services company and partly by the LTA). This funding is provided on a quasi-venture-capital basis, or similar to the ways in which budding new music artists are (or more accurately: used to be) funded by record companies: the financial outlay is recoupable upon any future pro success by the player, and there's an inbuilt expectation that most of the players funded in this way will never be recoupable.

However, over the past 20-30 years or so, a very distasteful parallel system has been operating in, shall we say, less transparent countries - exclusively concerning young female tennis prospects. It's no coincidence whatsoever that the likes of Russia, China and many central/eastern-European countries have produced vastly more top female pro players than top male pro players. And here's the reason:

Talented and aspiring young (again, typically aged 9-10 or so) female players are identified in these countries. However, instead of being supported by transparent institutions, they are instead supported by powerful and wealthy individuals (or sometimes small consortia of wealthy individuals). And with that support comes an implied quid-pro-quo: as the player develops into adulthood, there's an expectation that she will be required to have some form of sexual relationship with the man/men paying the bills. A particularly invidious element in this process is that the young female will have been being groomed from her early adolescence onwards, to the point where they don't see the subsequent sexual-relations part as being immoral or even unpleasant. And the parents learn to accept it too (or, if they don't, they soon find their daughter cast onto the scrapheap instead of providing them with wealth beyond their dreams as a touring pro player).

I think this is precisely what's been going on with Peng over all these years (and why there's an element of Stockholm Syndrome going on). It's also somewhat common knowledge on the WTA that Sharapova - whose parents were lower-middle-class and from the provinces - was in a similar arrangement for many, many years into her pro career (all those years at Bollettieri in Florida, plus subsistence for her and her family, plus the crazy-expensive funding for her plus a coach in her amateur and early-pro careers... don't come cheap or without a certain degree of palm-greasing).

There are at least several other current WTA Top-100 players who are likewise believed to be in a similar situation. And anyone who believes that Petra Kvitova happened to have her left (dominant) hand sliced open in a "random burglary gone wrong" (official explanation), might apply to me regarding a bridge I'm currently selling: she'd threatened to cut off her, ahem, "benefactor" and was being sent a message.

The Peng situation is, I'm afraid, very likely to be a manifestation of exactly this horrible state of affairs. The one thing I'd hope (and currently believe) is that no physical harm has actually come to her as yet - that she's merely been sequestered away to stop the inconvenient truth coming out, as well as perhaps being "re-educated". Now that China knows the heat is on, however, I'd expect them to spend another several days or so intensively "re-educating" Peng - and reminding her of what she can and cannot say - then "release" her back into the global village.
AS LJ says this is a widely abused relationship. Young actresses having to enter into relationships with producers or directors or coaches or 'mentors', artists, sports persons, politics, we can all think of scandals. In more formally regulated industries e.g. education, businesses this may be a crime, or at least a disciplinary offence. The older powerful man may feel that they have done nothing wrong, there is usually no physical forced rape. The young woman is often isolated, vulnerable, away from family, and made to feel dependant and obligated. For the young woman this may be their first relationship, it is not surprising that there are mixed emotions expressed. These relationships always seem to cease once the woman becomes successful (or fails to be a prospect) and the man will move onto the next prospect.

My guess is the Chinese hierarchy do not want a 'me too' movement, and will continue to clamp down on any such stories.
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Old 25th November 2021, 01:31 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
somewhat common knowledge, likewise believed. And anyone who believes that Petra Kvitova happened to have her left (dominant) hand sliced open in a "random burglary gone wrong" (official explanation), might apply to me regarding a bridge I'm currently selling: she'd threatened to cut off her, ahem, "benefactor" and was being sent a message.
Those are some top quality sources.
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Old 25th November 2021, 02:22 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
Those are some top quality sources.

Well, I know someone who works in admin on the WTA tour, and a friend of mine is a tennis journalist. I'm not going to name them. You can take what I write as an opinion, if you prefer. Or you can totally disregard it. I don't really care either way.
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Old 25th November 2021, 02:33 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
AS LJ says this is a widely abused relationship. Young actresses having to enter into relationships with producers or directors or coaches or 'mentors', artists, sports persons, politics, we can all think of scandals. In more formally regulated industries e.g. education, businesses this may be a crime, or at least a disciplinary offence. The older powerful man may feel that they have done nothing wrong, there is usually no physical forced rape. The young woman is often isolated, vulnerable, away from family, and made to feel dependant and obligated. For the young woman this may be their first relationship, it is not surprising that there are mixed emotions expressed. These relationships always seem to cease once the woman becomes successful (or fails to be a prospect) and the man will move onto the next prospect.

My guess is the Chinese hierarchy do not want a 'me too' movement, and will continue to clamp down on any such stories.

But I think there's an important difference when it comes to female tennis players (as opposed to, say, aspiring actresses or aspiring politicians).

And that difference is twofold: firstly, there's the fact that the abusers will have been funding the player's "dream" for a long time - and were it not for that funding, the player would have had little or no chance of making it onto the tour. And secondly, these relationships between abuser and player in women's tennis usually start before the player even reaches her teens. It's therefore a long-term grooming process, which puts in place a very different psychological dynamic from, say, a 20-year-old actress in a casting couch scenario. Plus the player's parents will usually have been closely involved, and they either turn a blind eye to the Svengali aspect, or (in some instances) actively endorse or enable it.

So for the young female tennis player, desperate to make it into the world of fame and fortune on the tour, it can become a hideous psychological mess - not least because the long-term grooming process throughout the player's adolescence can often result in the player having real feelings of attachment and willing towards her Svengali.......
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Old 25th November 2021, 04:12 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
My skepticism sees a "God of the gaps" argument in this, where no evidence is ever good enough.
There's certainly room for that in any situation like this; but this one hasn't reached that point yet. Not communicating with anyone when she used to communicate freely isn't exactly a nitpick; and while no one disputes that these two brief appearances prove she's not dead or anything like that, that's not really the question people were asking either.
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Old 25th November 2021, 08:27 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
There's certainly room for that in any situation like this; but this one hasn't reached that point yet. Not communicating with anyone when she used to communicate freely isn't exactly a nitpick; and while no one disputes that these two brief appearances prove she's not dead or anything like that, that's not really the question people were asking either.

Are we sure she's not communicating with anyone?
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Old 25th November 2021, 10:15 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
Are we sure she's not communicating with anyone?
I'm sure you understand that the sceptism on this matter is due to the track record of the regime - the Chinese government commits routinely horrible human rights abuses, of which the cultural genocide of the Uighurs is probably the most glaring. So, the word of the officials and some random appearances are not as reassuring as they would be in many other countries as in China human rights and individual liberties are pretty meaningless concepts for the authorities.

Anyway, what happened to the original allegation - is it being investigated? Or has it maybe been withdrawn for some reason?
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Old 26th November 2021, 12:31 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
I'm sure you understand that the sceptism on this matter is due to the track record of the regime - the Chinese government commits routinely horrible human rights abuses, of which the cultural genocide of the Uighurs is probably the most glaring. So, the word of the officials and some random appearances are not as reassuring as they would be in many other countries as in China human rights and individual liberties are pretty meaningless concepts for the authorities.

Anyway, what happened to the original allegation - is it being investigated? Or has it maybe been withdrawn for some reason?
Skepticism applies equally to claims that she is being restricted currently (more than anyone else in China, relatively speaking).
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Old 26th November 2021, 03:32 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Skepticism applies equally to claims that she is being restricted currently (more than anyone else in China, relatively speaking).
I have made no such claims.

And I believe that most concerned parties have only demandend clear and unambiguous proof that she is not constricted in any way by the authorities. One would think that it would be a very easy thing to provide.
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Old 26th November 2021, 08:23 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
I have made no such claims.

And I believe that most concerned parties have only demandend clear and unambiguous proof that she is not constricted in any way by the authorities. One would think that it would be a very easy thing to provide.
What do you make of this:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-59426312

"A man claiming to be an associate of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has accused the head of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) of ignoring an email from her.

Ding Li tweeted a screenshot of mail he claims she wrote to WTA chief Steve Simon asking not to be "disturbed"."

"He said Ms Peng had sent an email to Mr Simon, in which she said: "At the moment I do not want to be disturbed, and especially [can you] not hype up my personal affairs. I hope to live quietly. Thank you again for your concern.""
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Old 27th November 2021, 02:21 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
What do you make of this:
The man apparently doesn't actually have any verifiable association with Peng, so until one is found he can be safely ignored.
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Old 27th November 2021, 06:11 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by llwyd View Post
I have made no such claims.

And I believe that most concerned parties have only demandend clear and unambiguous proof that she is not constricted in any way by the authorities. One would think that it would be a very easy thing to provide.
I didn't say you did
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Old 27th November 2021, 09:41 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
The man apparently doesn't actually have any verifiable association with Peng, so until one is found he can be safely ignored.
And even if we assume that the email really was sent, it could have been sent under duress, so the WTA should ignore it.
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Old 27th November 2021, 11:41 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
And even if we assume that the email really was sent, it could have been sent under duress, so the WTA should ignore it.
Your posts could be under duress
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Old 27th November 2021, 11:50 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Your posts could be under duress
Yea. Of course, there's also the fact one of the most powerful governments on Earth hasn't been trying to delete any mention of him on their side of the internet. Zig can correct me on that if needed.
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Old 27th November 2021, 02:21 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
And even if we assume that the email really was sent, it could have been sent under duress, so the WTA should ignore it.
That's possible, but it's far more likely it's just made up, i.e. wasn't ever sent by Peng.
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Old 27th November 2021, 02:59 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
That's possible, but it's far more likely it's just made up, i.e. wasn't ever sent by Peng.

But then again, whatever was the true nature of that videocall between Peng and Thomas Bach the other day, there at least seems to be little doubt that she and he really did have some sort of conversation together in real time.

I think the PRC top brass probably thought (and had probably thought out in advance, given that they must have realised there'd be some level of concern that Peng didn't seem to be around and online etc) that a few carefully-scripted emails and Instagram posts would serve to pour water on any speculation that she'd come to any harm. When that didn't work out as they'd hoped, I think they thought that the videocall with Bach (an event whose level of choreography and IOC complicity are both still open to question) would do the trick.

As I said before, I just don't think they'd believed that the WTA Tour, which is in an increasingly symbiotic relationship with China (to the extent that it's highly arguable that the WTA Tour now needs China - and Chinese money/exposure - more than China needs the WTA Tour), would act so quickly and so decisively in announcing a total boycott of all its Chinese events unless Peng is shown to be totally free and capable of acting in her own free will.

And it's actually much more than the WTA Tour that PRC officials will be worried about now. The risk is that the WTA Tour's announcement will set off a domino effect of other major global sporting organisation bodies in boycotting events held in China (except, of course, for the IOC and F1, both of whom defecated out their moral fibre years ago...). The ones China will really be worried about in the short term are men's tennis and men's/women's golf, and possibly also cycling (whose governing body, UCI, is looking to expand significantly into China over the next decade). I hesitate to add FIFA (world football (soccer)) to that list, as FIFA of course has a long and storied history of moral bankruptcy which reaches up to and including its current President.


I don't therefore think that China now has any real option but to give Peng a demonstrable level of true personal freedom (in thought as well as in a physical sense). As I said before, I suspect that officials are right now working intensively with Peng on some sort of carrot-and-stick basis: to try to ensure that she's incentivised to say/do the "right" things and to avoid doing/saying the "wrong" things. And then, within no more than a week, I suspect she'll be re-presented to the World, and they'll probably allow a major US network and interviewer to travel to China to have a broadcast sit-down with her.
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Old 27th November 2021, 03:45 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Your posts could be under duress
Someone wanted the contents of my posts posted. Since my identity is both unknown and irrelevant, the existence of a hypothetical intermediary is quite irrelevant to anyone else.

Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
As I said before, I just don't think they'd believed that the WTA Tour, which is in an increasingly symbiotic relationship with China (to the extent that it's highly arguable that the WTA Tour now needs China - and Chinese money/exposure - more than China needs the WTA Tour), would act so quickly and so decisively in announcing a total boycott of all its Chinese events unless Peng is shown to be totally free and capable of acting in her own free will.
I'm pleasantly surprised myself. Good job, WTA.

Quote:
I don't therefore think that China now has any real option but to give Peng a demonstrable level of true personal freedom (in thought as well as in a physical sense). As I said before, I suspect that officials are right now working intensively with Peng on some sort of carrot-and-stick basis: to try to ensure that she's incentivised to say/do the "right" things and to avoid doing/saying the "wrong" things. And then, within no more than a week, I suspect she'll be re-presented to the World, and they'll probably allow a major US network and interviewer to travel to China to have a broadcast sit-down with her.
Yeah, this seems highly probable. I'm assuming she has family. Even if she's allowed to travel and even defect, the government can still act against them. So they may well have enough leverage to shut her up even as they let her out of her cage. And yes, carrots are probably also possible to help seal the deal.
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Old 27th November 2021, 03:55 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
What do you make of this:



https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-59426312



"A man claiming to be an associate of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has accused the head of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) of ignoring an email from her.



Ding Li tweeted a screenshot of mail he claims she wrote to WTA chief Steve Simon asking not to be "disturbed"."



"He said Ms Peng had sent an email to Mr Simon, in which she said: "At the moment I do not want to be disturbed, and especially [can you] not hype up my personal affairs. I hope to live quietly. Thank you again for your concern.""
Maybe she's been told. Make this go away or else
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Old 27th November 2021, 04:24 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Someone wanted the contents of my posts posted. Since my identity is both unknown and irrelevant, the existence of a hypothetical intermediary is quite irrelevant to anyone else.
You want to talk about irrelevant....this person is irrelevant to a lot of things.

Last edited by BobTheCoward; 27th November 2021 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 27th November 2021, 04:50 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
What do you make of this:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-59426312

"A man claiming to be an associate of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has accused the head of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) of ignoring an email from her.

Ding Li tweeted a screenshot of mail he claims she wrote to WTA chief Steve Simon asking not to be "disturbed"."

"He said Ms Peng had sent an email to Mr Simon, in which she said: "At the moment I do not want to be disturbed, and especially [can you] not hype up my personal affairs. I hope to live quietly. Thank you again for your concern.""
All of your posts seem to premised on assuming the Chinese government is an honest broker, that does not unduly interfere in the public lives of its free citizens. This isn't really a plausible starting assumption for a lot of people who pay attention to China.

Why do you think we should give China, and not Peng Shuai, the initial benefit of the doubt in this?

When someone attempts the MDC, we don't assume a priori that they're actually achieving a paranormal results. Instead, we make note of all the opportunities they've had to control the narrative, and all the techniques by which they could achieve the result through trickery and fraud.
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Old 27th November 2021, 05:28 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
You want to talk about irrelevant....this person is irrelevant to a lot of things.
But not to the topic of the thread. If you think the thread is irrelevant, then don’t participate. It’s really that simple.
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Old 27th November 2021, 08:15 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
All of your posts seem to premised on assuming the Chinese government is an honest broker
The rest of your post is irrelevant because I do not assume anything.
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Old 27th November 2021, 08:26 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
The man apparently doesn't actually have any verifiable association with Peng, so until one is found he can be safely ignored.
There are photos of him with her on his twitter account.

https://twitter.com/li_ding1
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Old 27th November 2021, 09:08 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
But not to the topic of the thread. If you think the thread is irrelevant, then don’t participate. It’s really that simple.
I misinterpreted what you were getting at when you described yourself as irrelevant. Nevermind then.

(As an aside, I think everything I do with my life is ultimately irrelevant).
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Old 27th November 2021, 11:08 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
There are photos of him with her on his twitter account.

https://twitter.com/li_ding1
Twitter is blocked in China. If this guy has a twitter account, then he's a CCP shill. He may well know Peng, but he's a shill none the less.
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Old 28th November 2021, 02:03 AM   #67
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Twitter is blocked in China. If this guy has a twitter account, then he's a CCP shill. He may well know Peng, but he's a shill none the less.
This account's tweet history is fascinating.

2 tweets in 2012.

1 in 2017.

1 on February 5, 2019.

And then suddenly on November 18 of this year it wakes up and begins tweeting solely about Peng Shuai. All of the photos showing him with Peng were posted a week ago, literally on the same day.
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