Tennis: Ilie Nastase appeals against ITF ban

Nastase with Romania's Simona Halep after she won the WTA Madrid Open, in May 2017.
Nastase with Romania's Simona Halep after she won the WTA Madrid Open, in May 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Ilie Nastase has appealed against his suspension over his behaviour during a Fed Cup match between Romania and Great Britain in April, the International Tennis Federation announced on Thursday (Aug 17).

The 71-year-old Romania captain was accused of racism by Serena Williams after joking about the skin colour of her unborn baby and was ejected from the tie over a foul-mouthed outburst.

He was banned from taking on an official role at ITF events until 2021 and fined US$10,000 (S$13,000). He was also prevented from attending ITF events until the end of 2018.

Confirming Nastase's appeal, a spokesman said: "No further information will be issued until the tribunal has reached its decision as the process is confidential."

Nastase, the former French Open and US Open champion, was provisionally suspended by the ITF following the tie in April before an adjudication panel handed down specific punishments last month.

Nastase's ban does not prevent him from attending Grand Slam events or ATP or WTA tournaments, as the ITF does not have direct jurisdiction over them.

Prior to the Fed Cup tie in Constanta, Nastase was overheard discussing Williams's unborn child during a press conference, saying: "Let's see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?"

He twice asked British captain Anne Keothavong for her room number and angrily confronted British journalist Eleanor Crooks on two occasions.

During a match between British number one Johanna Konta and Sorana Cirstea, Nastase swore at Konta, Keothavong and referee Andreas Egli, which saw him ejected from the court.

The French Open and Wimbledon subsequently revoked their invitations to Nastase to attend their respective tournaments.