The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has launched an investigation into Romanian Fed Cup captain Ilie Nastase after allegations the former world number one had made a derogatory comment about Serena Williams' unborn child. At the Fed Cup draw in Constanta on Friday before a tie between Romania and Britain, Nastase was heard speaking in Romanian to one of his team members about Williams' baby. 'Let's see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?' he was quoted by Romanian and some British media as saying.
'The ITF does not tolerate discriminatory and offensive language'
Williams, who confirmed her pregnancy through a spokeswoman on Wednesday, is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who is white. Nastase was on court in Romania and unavailable for immediate comment. George Cosac, President of the Romanian Tennis Federation, said the RTF had yet to receive guidance from the ITF. 'As soon as we are given the conclusions, we will take a decision.' 'The ITF does not tolerate discriminatory and offensive language and behaviour of any kind,' the International Tennis Federation said in an emailed statement.
'We are aware of alleged comments made by Romanian Captain Ilie Nastase and have begun an immediate investigation so that we have the full facts of the situation before taking further and appropriate action.' When play began on Saturday, Nastase was in trouble on court and was sent off by the umpire in the second rubber between Britain's Johanna Konta and Romania's Sorana Cirstea for 'unsportsmanlike conduct'. Nastase was heard making derogatory remarks that appeared to be aimed at the umpire and at Konta. The match was temporarily suspended with Konta in tears, before restarting shortly afterwards.