French tennis player Maxime Hamou was banned from the French Open on Tuesday after an interview on Monday during which he grabbed and kissed a female Eurosport journalist as she tried to back away.
Maly Thomas was trying to interview Hamou after he lost a match to Pablo Cuevas, when Hamou put his arm around her, pulled her against his side, and repeatedly kissed her head and neck. Thomas pulled away from him but he held her against him and continued talking and trying to kiss her, the New York Daily News reported.
"The management of the tournament has decided to revoke Maxime Hamou’s accreditation following his reprehensible behavior with a journalist yesterday," said a statement by the French Tennis Federation, the Daily News reported. The FTF also said Hamou would be investigated for "improper conduct."
"If it had not been live on air, I would have punched him," Thomas said to HuffPost France, Sports Illustrated reported. "These situations are trivialized and should not be," she said, calling the incident "frankly unpleasant."
Some of Thomas’s colleagues were laughing and clapping during the interview, but a Eurosport statement called Hamou’s actions "highly inappropriate," SI reported. Hamou is 21 years old and is ranked 287th in the world.
Some Twitter users supported Thomas and wondered if Hamou would face charges.
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