Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai banned 6 months

Peng Shuai of China wipes her face during the women's singles match against Samantha Stosur of Australia on the second day at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Tuesday July 3, 2018. (Tim Ireland/AP)

LONDON — Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has been banned for six months for breaching the sport’s anti-corruption program by attempting to change her Wimbledon doubles partner through coercion last year after the sign-in deadline.

The Tennis Integrity Unit announced the sanction Wednesday, with three months of the ban suspended. Peng also was fined $10,000, with $5,000 suspended. Peng’s former coach, Bertrand Perret of France, also was banned for three months.

The TIU said Peng "used coercion and offered the possibility of financial reward in return for her main draw partner agreeing to withdraw from the ladies doubles event at Wimbledon 2017."

Peng ended up not competing in the tournament after the offer was refused.

The suspension will be effective immediately, with Peng eligible to play again on Nov. 8 as long as no other violations are committed. The Chinese player was ranked No. 1 in doubles in 2014 and reached a career-high singles ranking of 14th in 2011.

The 32-year-old Peng was the top-ranked doubles player in the world in February 2014 and is now 20th in doubles and 80th in singles. She has two career singles titles and reached the 2014 U.S. Open semifinal. Peng has 21 doubles titles, teaming with Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei to win Grand Slam crowns at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014.

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