Bucharest - Ilie
Nastase said on Thursday he is fully co-operating with an International
Tennis Federation (ITF) investigation into his foul-mouthed comments and bad
behavior last month.
The ITF provisionally suspended the former
tennis great after he speculated about the skin colour of the baby that
Serena Williams is expecting and for outbursts during a Fed Cup match
between Romania and Britain.
Nastase said he had responded to
accusations made by the ITF and written to apologise to "people who may
have been affected or upset" and for "the way they were interpreted." He
said he never intended to "affect anyone's well-being."
called on the ITF to grant him a hearing to "allow me to personally
present my understanding about the relevant events and the conclusions I
have reached reflecting on the situation."
Nastase acknowledged making mistakes and having shortcomings, but
stressed "the cause I fight for is tennis, the sport I really love,
which I cannot separate from my life."
As Fed Cup captain, Nastase
hurled abuse at British player Johanna Konta, captain Anne Keothavong
and the umpire. The referee ejected Nastase.
Nastase, a former
top-ranked player who won the French Open title in 1973, will not be
invited to the Royal Box on Wimbledon's Centre Court, where he was a
two-time finalist. He has also been barred from the French Open.
he said he was confident that the federation's judges would "use the
same standards applied in other cases," and "analyse my reactions ... in
their whole context."
Nastase said he would not comment further until the investigation is completed.