ITF admits Ilie Nastase’s appeal, sanctions cut, increased fine. I’ve learned my lesson, the former tennis legend says
Former tennis legend, Ilie Năstase, assisted by the law firm PeliFilip, has obtained the reduction of the sanctions imposed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), the law firm has announced in a press release.
In a release on Wednesday, the ITF informs:
“An Independent Tribunal appointed under Article 15 of the 2017 ITF Fed Cup Regulations has issued its decision in relation to the appeal by Ilie Nastase against the decision of the ITF Internal Adjudication Panel dated 20 July 2017.
Mr Nastase has been found by the Tribunal in breach of the following provisions of the ITF’s Welfare Policy under the 2017 ITF Fed Cup Regulations, in respect of his conduct during the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas tie between Romania and Great Britain in Constanta in April 2017.
– breaching the Introduction to the Welfare Policy and Article a.v.b, in relation to his racially insensitive comment about Serena Williams’s (then unborn) child;
– breaching Article a.iv.c in making unwelcome advances of a sexual nature towards Anne Keothavong, the Captain of the Great Britain team;
– breaching Article a.iii.b of the Welfare Policy in making abusive and threatening comments to a member of the accredited press;
– breaching Articles a.ii.a, a.iii.a, a.iii.b and a.v.b in relation to his conduct on-court during the second rubber between Sorana Cirstea and Johanna Konta, specifically: making abusive and threatening comments to the match officials and to members of the Great Britain team;
– engaging in unfair conduct by intentionally interfering with the competition of Ms Konta, and abusing his position of authority, compromising the wellbeing of Ms Konta;
– engaging in conduct that reflected unfavourably on the ITF, the Fed Cup, the players, the officials and the game of tennis.
The Tribunal has imposed the following sanctions on Mr Nastase:
– A suspension from acting in an official capacity (including, but not limited to, team Captain) in all official ITF team and individual competitions and circuits (specified in Bye-Law 2.1(a), 2.2(2), and 2.2(3) of the ITF Constitution) for three years from 23 April 2017 to 23 April 2020.
– A denial of access to, and accreditation for, the competitions and circuits described above for one year from 23 April 2017 until 23 April 2018. (Note: ATP, WTA and Grand Slam tournaments are not included within the sanction, as they lie outside the jurisdiction of the ITF.)
– A fine in the amount of US$20,000.
In relation to the original sanctions imposed by the ITF Internal Adjudication Panel, the Tribunal has increased the amount of the fine by $10,000, and has reduced both the length of suspension and denial of access to competitions and circuits by approximately eight months. Mr Nastase was originally suspended from acting in an official capacity until 31 December 2020, and denied access to competitions and circuits until 31 December 2018.
The decision of the Independent Tribunal is final.
Ilie Năstase: An important victory. I’ve learned my lesson
The former Fed Cup team captain, Ilie Nastase, said on Wednesday this is an important victory and that the sanction has been reduced until April 23, 2018.
Nastase, 71, wrote on his Facebook page he is glad the independent tribunal has understood he is not racist and that he has learned his lesson.
“I am glad to find out that the Independent Tribunal has concluded that I am not a racist person and that my words regarding the child of Mrs. Serena Williams had no racist basis. (…) I’ve learned my lesson following this experience, but I hope they also understand they exaggerated,” Ilie Nastase wrote.
Nastase said he will not attend the match between Romania and Canada in Cluj Napoca. “I wish good luck to the girls, in about two months I will be allowed to be in the stands by them. I trust there will be other reasons to turn down my access or accreditation for the big ATP and WTA competitions this year,” he added.
He mentioned he would be happy to attend again, from the stands, tennis matches. “I’ve dedicated my life to this sport and I am entitled to take part to this phenomenon. I will make no further comments on this topic,” Nastase wrote.
As ‘Romania Journal’ reported on April 23, 2017 Romania’s non-player team captain Ilie Nastase allegedly made some offensive comments against the British player Johanna Konta and against the chair umpire. He was sent off the court during the Fed Cup match between Sorana Cirstea and Johanna Konta and was replaced by Monica Niculescu. Later on he allegedly revealed he was nervous because Konta was complaining too much about the wind, about phone calls in the stands and that the chair umpire said nothing about this. Offensive expressions from the stand have reportedly offended Johanna Konta, who burst into tears minutes later. The match was interrupted for 15 minutes.