<
>

WTA chief slams reappearance of Ilie Nastase at Madrid Open

Ilie Nastase, left, celebrates Simona Halep's victory at the Madrid Open. Julian Finney/Getty Images

The head of the Women's Tennis Association [WTA] has slammed the decision to allow Ilie Nastase to appear at the Madrid Open.

Nastase is currently under investigation over his behaviour at the recent Fed Cup tie with Great Britain in his native Romania but was back in the spotlight over the weekend -- celebrating the victory of compatriot Simona Halep.

The reappearance of former French and US Open champion Nastase, now 70, was met with consternation by WTA chief Steve Simon.

Simon said: "The only shadow cast on the day was Mr Nastase's invitation to participate in the award ceremony.

"He is currently under a provisional suspension by the ITF for his prior offensive actions and we revoked his credentials at WTA events while the investigation is being completed.

"It was both irresponsible and unacceptable of the Madrid Open to bestow him an official role.

"The Madrid tournament is a Premier-level event and held to the highest standards of professional tennis and leadership which were not reflected today."

Last month, Nastase followed a controversial Tweet about Serena Williams' unborn child with headline-grabbing verbal attacks on officials and Team GB players during Romania's Fed Cup victory.