Former World No 1 player Ilie Nastase is being investigated by the International Tennis Federation after allegedly making a racist remark about Serena Williams’ baby. Nastase was overheard telling a Romanian team member, “Let’s see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?”.
An ITF spokesperson told the BBC, “The ITF does not tolerate discriminatory and offensive language and behaviour of any kind.” He added, “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.”
After reports of Nastase’s comments came out, the Romanian allegedly shouted at the Press Association’s tennis correspondent, AFP reported. “Why did you write that? You’re stupid, you’re stupid,” he is said to have told her.
In March, Nastase had also made unsubstantiated allegations about Williams’ doping record.
Williams’ child is due in September. She had won the Australian Open in January during early stages of her pregnancy. Her coach on Friday had said that Williams intends to return to the sport once she’s had her baby, since her announcement had triggered speculation that she might quit tennis. Williams has 23 Grand Slam titles, while Australia’s Margaret Court holds the record for the most Grand Slam crowns with 24. Williams is said to be eyeing breaking that record.