Sports / Tennis

Senator Nastase?

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-25 07:00

Former Romanian tennis champion Ilie Nastase - at one time one of the highest-earning players in Europe - has announced he will run for a seat in parliament.

The player once seen as the bad boy of tennis, with a talent for drama as well as the racket, said on Wednesday he will stand in the Bucharest by-election for a seat in the Romanian Senate.

Nastase, who is now 67, will be a candidate for the Conservative Party, a small group that is part of the left-leaning governing coalition.

The party was founded by Dan Voiculescu, a former collaborator of the Communist Political Police, the Securitate.

"Today, I want to get involved (in politics) to help sports in Romania," Nastase told the Agerpres news agency.

"I want to fight for the adoption of a law on sponsorship, without which sport in this country is going to die."

Nastase, who led his country to the Davis Cup final on three occasions, retired from competition in 1984 after a glittering career.

He won the US Open at Forest Hills in 1972, was world No 1 in 1973, and in 1976 became the first European to top $1 million in career prize money.

The Association of Tennis Professionals said he's known "both for his sorcery with the racket and his bizarre behavior."

The by-election will be held on May 25.


(China Daily 04/25/2014 page23)

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