BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) Madrid Open organizer and former tennis player Ion Tiriac said Tuesday he won’t award any more trophies at his tournament because he is upset by the way his friend Ilie Nastase has been treated.
In an open letter to WTA CEO Steve Simon, Tiriac said he has decided not to hand out gold, diamond and solid silver replicas to winners of the women’s event following ”aggressive public commentaries” by the WTA.
Romanian player Simona Halep won the Madrid Open in May. Nastase was photographed next to her.
Simon called Nastase’s presence ”irresponsible and unacceptable.”
The 70-year-old Nastase has been provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation following his comments about Serena Williams’ unborn baby and for foul-mouthed outbursts during a Fed Cup match between Romania and Britain in April. The ITF is investigating the incident.
Tiriac also called on ITF president David Haggerty to ”act in a fair and lawful manner” and allow a public hearing of the probe into Nastase’s behavior at the Fed Cup.