Tennis player Maxime Hamou has been banished from the French Open after he groped and repeatedly tried to kiss a female journalist, Maly Thomas live on air.
The Frenchman who is ranked World No 287, kissed Eurosport presenter Maly Thomas several times while holding her around the neck and shoulders, ignoring her attempts to duck away. He maintained his hold on her while Thomas tried to be professional and continued the live show.
The 21-year-old player is also subjected to a lot of criticism across social network after the shocking incident which was shown live on Eurosport show Avantage Leconte on Monday.
When Maly was asked about the incident she furiously said that Hamou’s action were “frankly unpleasant.” “If I hadn’t been live on air, I would have punched him. It does not give a good picture of him, he destroys himself by doing this,” she added.
Hamou has a highest ATP singles ranking of 211, but was a junior as high as eight in 2013. He has a career earnings of around £91,000 after breaking onto the scene in 2015.
This inappropriate incident happened as Hamou was being interviewed following his straight-sets defeat to 22nd seed Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
The French Tennis Federation (FTT) condemned his “reprehensible behavior” and ordered an immediate investigation. In a short statement released to media at the tournament, the FTT confirmed that Hamou’s accreditation had been withdrawn from the rest of the tournament.
“Roland-Garros tournament organizers took the decision to revoke Maxime Hamou’s accreditation following his inappropriate behavior towards a female journalist yesterday, Monday 29 May,” the statement read.
“The FFT President has asked the disputes committee to investigate for improper conduct.”
Apart from being banned from the Grand Slam, he was also fined £4,900 for the incident for “improper conduct”.