(ATR) Romanian Fed Cup captain Ilie Nastase is suspended by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) until December 31, 2020.
The sanction, which bans Nastase from working in any official ITF capacity, includes the Olympic tennis tournament in Tokyo in the summer of 2020.
He could, however, attend matches at Tokyo 2020 because an additional access ban to all ITF events imposed by the federation lasts only through 2018. He is allowed to attend Grand Slam tournaments and other ATP and WTA Tour events, which do not fall under ITF jurisdiction.
The ITF Internal Adjudication Panel also fined him $10,000 after finding him guilty of breaching a series of regulations during Romania’s home Fed Cup match against Great Britain in Constanta in April.
The panel found Nastase’s comment about Serena Williams’ unborn child "highly inappropriate and racially insensitive". Williams accused Nastase of racist abuse for saying "Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?"
Nastase was also found guilty of making sexual advances towards Great Britain captain Anne Keothavong and making abusive and threatening comments to British Press Association tennis correspondent Eleanor Crooks.
Lastly, he breached various regulations by making abusive and threatening comments to the match officials and to members of the Great Britain team during the tie. A foul-mouthed tirade aimed at Keothavong, British player Johanna Konta and the tie referee forced a brief suspension of the match as Konta left the court in tears. Nastase was also guilty of refusing to leave the court and deliberately interfering with the opposing team.
Nastase, who was provisionally suspended following the tie, did not receive his usual invitation to attend the French Open or Wimbledon.
The ITF says Nastase and the Romanian Tennis Federation each have 21 days to appeal the decision to an independent tribunal.
Written by Gerard Farek
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