Ilie Nastase given three-year ban by International Tennis Federation

Ilie Nastase given three-year ban by International Tennis Federation

Romania Fed Cup captain Ilie Nastase has been handed a three-year ban from the competition following his behaviour during the match against Great Britain in Constanta in February.

Nastase will be barred from acting in an official capacity at any International Tennis Federation event until December 2020 after a series of misdemeanours including making threatening comments to a Press Association journalist.

In addition, Nastase will be denied accreditation to all ITF events until 2018, although the sanction does not include grand slam tournaments nor the respective ATP or WTA Tours, over which the ITF does not have direct jurisdiction.

Nastase was provisionally suspended by the ITF in the wake of the tie in Constanta.

The former French and US Open champion was accused of racist abuse by Serena Williams when he said about her unborn baby: "Let's see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?"

He also repeatedly asked British captain Anne Keothavong for her room number during press conferences before the tie.

He then launched foul-mouth abuse at Keothavong, British number one Johanna Konta and tie referee Andreas Egli, causing Konta's match to be briefly suspended as she left the court in tears, and also confronted Press Association Sport tennis correspondent Eleanor Crooks on two occasions.

Both Wimbledon and the French Open both subsequently announced that they would not be extending their customary invitations to Nastase to attend their respective events.

The ITF, which also fined him US dollars 10,000, announced that Nastase and the Romanian Tennis Federation each have 21 days to appeal the verdict.

Nastase had denied breaching a series of Articles of the ITF's Fed Cup Welfare policy, and said his comments about Williams had been "intended as a joke" and were "misinterpreted".

He denied sexual harassment in the case of the comments he directed towards Keothavong and said his unauthorised entry into the GB Lounge during the event was due to confusion.

He accepted his comments towards a member of the accredited media were "inappropriate", but had been made "in frustration and at a time of vulnerability" due to "biased and exaggerated media coverage".

Furthermore, Nastase admitted losing his temper during the match but claimed he was reacting to the unequal treatment of the two teams by the chair umpire.

Officials at the Romanian Tennis Federation were not immediately available for comment.

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