Tennis

Nastase Threatened Umpire 'That He Won't Be Able To Leave Romania'

Nastase Threatened Umpire 'That He Won't Be Able To Leave Romania'

One of the 'characters' prevalent throughout men's tennis in the nineteen-seventies, Ilie Nastase has proved himself a rather unlikable character thereafter.

Having initially been suspended by the International Tennis Federation for a malicious tirade against a number of individuals - players, coaches and officials alike - at a Fed Cup tie in Romania last April, the ITF have decided to reduce his initial ban upon appeal.

Charged with serving a ban that would see him incapable of attending or being accredited for tournaments until next December, that sentence has now been reduced, and the former World #1 will be available to attend once again from April onward. Although he will have to wait another two years before taking on official duties once again.

It is not all good news for Nastase however; his initial ban of $10,000 has been doubled.

Yet, perhaps most damaging of all for the two-time Grand Slam winner is the resultant transcript that has been released, detailing the inflammatory comments he made during that tirade in his native country.

To the referee in question as Romania took on Great Britain in the Fed Cup tie, Nastase is reported as issuing the following threats:

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The LTA [Lawn Tennis Association] is paying the ITF and you are part of it, you fucking asshole, cocksucker.

You know that you are not going to leave the country.

This was just one of many disturbing remarks Nastase made throughout the tie. Having also racially targeted Serena Williams and her unborn child, Nastase also labeled Great Britain's Johanna Konta and her captain Anne Keothavong, "fucking bitches."

Referring to a reporter Elanor Crooks as "stupid" and ugly" in a later exchange, the 71-year-old was also filmed making a sleazy pass at Keothavong, who, when informing Nastase she was married, responded, "me too, that doesn't matter."

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Arthur James O'Dea

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