While other former World No. 1s, like Juan Carlos Ferrero, are locking down coaching gigs Ilie Nastase's career is heading in the wrong direction. Nastase, in well-covered news from earlier this year, allegedly made racially sensitive comments about Serena Williams' Unborn Child. Specifically, it is alleged that Nastase wondered, out loud, what color the baby's skin color would be given that Williams is black and her partner is Caucasian.

The ITF published an article on July 21st that reveals that the ITF Internal Adjudication Panel found Nastase "guilty of several" articles of Fed Cup Welfare policy with punishments resulting.

Those punishments will cripple Nastase's involvement in ITF tennis until 2021.

Points made against Nastase and punishments

Nastase, when he committed his alleged offenses, was with Romania's Fed Cup team as they participated in competition against Great Britain. Without getting into the details of the sections that Nastase broke, the ITF noted the following in their July 21st publication:

  • Racial insensitivity regarding Serena Williams' unborn child
  • Inappropriate "advances of a sexual nature towards Anne Keothavong" (it's alleged that Nastase asked for Keothavong's room number)
  • Threats and abuse toward the press
  • Threats and abuse toward match officials

Nastase has a window to appeal the decisions that were made.

Notwithstanding changes from that possible appeal, his punishments according to the ITF are as follows:

  • Suspension until December 31th, 2020 for all official ITF roles
  • A fine of $10K US
  • Denied access and accreditation for tournaments between April 23rd, 2017 and December 31st, 2018.

Nastase tarnishes his legacy

Nastase is a noted player in tennis history for his on-court attitude.

Perhaps most famously, Nastase was the first player to be ranked No. 1 in the world using the modern system of ranking tennis players according to points earned in tournaments. Before August 23rd, 1973, the date when the ATP began using the modern system of ranking tennis players, pundit analysis was often the currency for tennis greatness.

Despite his place in tennis history, Nastase was never really an uncontroversial player. But while he did have previous controversies in his career, the allegations of racism and the inappropriate behavior toward Keothavong may be what he ends up being remembered for. After all, only the elder generation of tennis fans will remember his playing days at this point and certainly not every fan is a student of tennis history.

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