French Open: Maxime Hamou Banned After Groping and Kissing Reporter on Live TV
French tennis player Maxime Hamou was banished from the French Open on Tuesday after he kissed and groped a TV journalist following his first-round exit.
Footage of the interview showed Hamou pulling the female journalist close before kissing her on the side of the head. As the reporter looked embarrassed and tried to push him away, he kissed her again.
After answering a question he kissed her a third time, and pulled her towards him while she tried to peel his hand off her chest.
"It was frankly unpleasant. If it hadn't been live on air, I would have punched him," Thomas later told the French edition of the Huffington Post.
Hamou, the world No. 287, was banished from the French Open and could face further sanctions following a review of the incident by the French Tennis Federation (FFT).
"The management of the tournament has deciced to revoke Maxime Hamou's accreditation following his reprehensible behaviour with a journalist yesterday," the FFT said in statement.
A Eurosport spokesman said in a statement that Hamou's actions were "highly inappropriate".
"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," the spokesman said.
There was also criticism of the commentators in the Eurosport studio, who laughed and clapped during the incident.
France's Sports Minister Laura Flessel tweeted: "No, such assaults on live TV are never funny."