A 21-year-old French tennis player’s “inappropriate behavior” towards a female journalist during a live TV interview at a major tournament has been described as “reprehensible” by the French Tennis Federation.
Maxime Hamou pulled Eurosport journalist Maly Thomas close to him and kissed her repeatedly while holding her around her neck and shoulders Monday.
On Tuesday, the FTT revoked Hamou’s accreditation for the prestigious French Open, while the organization’s President Bernard Giudicelli has asked the disputes committee to investigate for improper conduct.
“I want to offer my deepest apologies to Maly Thomas if she felt hurt or shocked by my attitude during her interview,” Hamou wrote on his Instagram account.
In a statement sent to CNN, Eurosport said: “We sincerely regret the incident that occurred during yesterday evening’s interview between Maly Thomas and Maxime Hamou.
“The behaviour of the interviewee was highly inappropriate and we do not condone such conduct in any way.”
In quotes carried by the Huffington Post, Thomas said that if she “hadn’t been live on air, I would have punched him.”
The incident happened after Hamou, who is ranked No. 287 in the world, had been knocked out of the first round in straight sets by Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas.
Following a defeat, it’s normal for players to still be allowed on site with their accreditation, though usually most would take off to prepare for their next tournament.
It is the latest case involving female reporters receiving unwanted attention.
In April, former Sunderland manager David Moyes was charged by England’s Football Association for telling a BBC reporter after a post-match interview she might “get a slap.”
Last January, West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle was fined $7,200 by his club after he asked a TV reporter for a date in a live interview.