Ilie Nastase given three-year ITF ban after Fed Cup meltdown

He made comments during tie against Britain, and about Serena Williams’s unborn child

Former Romanian tennis ace Ilie Nastase has been banned from the Fed Cup and Davis Cup until 2019. Photograph: PA

Former Romanian tennis ace Ilie Nastase has been banned from the Fed Cup and Davis Cup until 2019. Photograph: PA

 

Romanian Fed Cup captain Ilie Nastase has been banned from acting in an official capacity at all International Tennis Federation (ITF) team competitions until December 31st, 2020, the governing body said on Friday.

The 71-year-old was sanctioned for multiple breaches of conduct rules during a Fed Cup tie between Romania and Britain in April, including making a “highly inappropriate and racially insensitive” comment about Serena Williams’s unborn child.

The governing body’s internal adjudication panel also found him guilty of making “advances of a sexual nature” towards British team captain Anne Keothavong, and “abusive and threatening comments” to members of the British team, match officials and a member of the press.

Nastase, who has been fined $10,000, will also be denied access to, and not granted accreditation for, all official ITF team competitions and tennis circuits until December 31st, 2018, the ITF said in a statement.

Grand slam tournaments, which lie outside the ITF’s jurisdiction, are not included in the sanction.

Both Nastase and the Romanian Tennis Federation have 21 days to appeal the decision. There was no immediate comment from Nastase.

The ITF launched its investigation after Nastase was heard speaking in Romanian to one of his team members about Williams’ unborn baby at the Fed Cup draw in Constanta in April.

“Let’s see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?” the former French Open and US Open champion was quoted as saying.

Williams, who had confirmed her pregnancy through a spokeswoman a few days earlier, is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who is white.

Nastase’s comment was widely reported in the media, and he was booted out of Romania’s Fed Cup tie against Britain the following day for aiming abuse at the umpire, British player Johanna Konta and Keothavong.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.