Decision: Ilie Năstase v International Tennis Federation (ITF)
The Independent Tribunal has issued its decision in the appeal lodged by Mr Ilie Năstase against the ITF’s Internal Adjudication Panel (IAP).
The ITF had brought six charges against Mr Năstase stemming from conduct at and around the Fed Cup Tie that took place in Constanta, Romania in April 2017, where Romania hosted Great Britain. The IAP had upheld four of the charges, namely those relating to comments made about Serena Williams’s then-unborn child, comments made to Ms Anne Keothavong, incidents between Mr Năstase and a member of the press, Ms Eleanor Crooks, and on-court conduct. It sanctioned Mr Năstase to:
- suspension from acting in an official capacity (including, but not limited to, team Captain) in all Official ITF Team Competitions, individual competitions and circuits run by the ITF until 31 December 2020;
- denial of access and accreditation to such competitions and circuits until 31 December 2018; and
- a fine of US $10,000.
Mr Năstase appealed this decision and the matter was referred to Sport Resolutions as Secretariat to the Independent Panel, in accordance with the Procedural Rules Governing Proceedings before an Independent Tribunal convened under ITF Rules.
An Independent Tribunal was appointed and composed of Andrew de Lotbinière McDougall (Chair), Susan Ahern and Despina Mavromati. The ITF maintained the four charges upheld by the IAP and the matter was heard de novo. An oral hearing was held on 13 December 2017 in London.
The Independent Tribunal found all four charges to be proven. In approaching sanctioning, the Tribunal assessed the seriousness of the actions before considering any mitigating and aggravating factors. In the interests of proportionality, the Tribunal considered that the sanctions attributed to each breach should be served concurrently. This resulted in the Tribunal handing down the following sanction:
- a suspension from acting in an official capacity (including, but not limited to, team Captain) in all Official ITF Team Competitions, individual competitions and circuits for three years from 23 April 2017 to 23 April 2020;
- a denial of access to and accreditation for the competitions and circuits described immediately above for one year from 23 April 2017 to 23 April 2018; and
- a fine in the amount of US $20,000 due immediately.
The full decision can be accessed via the related links tab on the right-hand side.