Ilie Nastase banned for Serena Williams 'chocolate' comments

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He will also be banned from attending such events until 2019 and fined $10,000.

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 31, 2020, the governing body said yesterday.

Ilie Nastase was banned from tennis by the International Tennis Federation for four years after making allegedly racially insensitive comments about women's tennis star Serena Williams and other "threatening" comments, the federation announced Friday in a statement.

The ITF internal adjudication panel has suspended the former world No. 1 from acting in an official capacity in all of its team competitions and tennis circuits until 31 December 2020.

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The ITF has found him guilty of making abusive and threatening comments to members of the British team and match officials, as well as a member of the media.

Grand Slam tournaments are not included within the sanction, nor the respective ATP or WTA Tours, as they lie outside the jurisdiction of the ITF.

Williams responded to Nastase's comments on Instagram on April 24. During the Fed Cup in April, Romanian player Simona Halep was answering a question in English about former world number one Williams and her pregnancy.

He was heard saying: "Let's see what colour it (the baby) has".

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During the chaos on court, Britain's Johanna Konta was subjected to additional abuse from the crowd which resulted in the play being suspended to give her time to compose herself.

Nastase denied breaching a series of articles of the ITF's policy and said his comment about Williams had been "intended as a joke" and were "misinterpreted".

Ilie Nastase has made an extraordinary defence of his behaviour in the Fed Cup tie with Great Britian claiming that racism is not a "delicate" issue in Romania and that he can count two black people among his friends.

The ITF said Nastase and the Romanian Tennis Federation had 21 days to appeal against the verdict.

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