Europe

Maxime Hamou: French Open bans player after he kisses TV reporter

A tennis player has been banned from the French Open after attempting to kiss a TV presenter against her will during a live broadcast.

Maxime Hamou, 21, grabbed Eurosport journalist Maly Thomas while she interviewed him after his first round 6-3 6-2 6-4 loss to Pablo Cuevas on Monday.

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Thomas pulled away from the French player as he repeatedly attempted to kiss her on the head, before he wrapped his arm around her neck and pulled her back.

The presenter later described the interview as "frankly unpleasant", adding: "If it hadn't been live on air, I would have punched him".

Hamou, the world number 287, was later banished from the grounds of Roland Garros and has had his tournament accreditation cancelled.

French Open organizers said the star was guilty of "reprehensible behaviour".

Meanwhile, a Eurosport spokesman said Hamou's actions were "highly inappropriate".

He said: "We do not condone such conduct in any way. Maly is a highly respected journalist and we are pleased that a full apology is being offered.

"We apologize to any viewers who may have been affected."

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