31/05/2017 10:35 BST | Updated 31/05/2017 10:46 BST

Maxime Hamou Banned From French Open After Kissing And Grabbing Maly Thomas During Live Interview


Tennis player Maxime Hamou has been banned from the French Open for grabbing and kissing a female reporter.

The 21-year-old Hamou, a French qualifier who lost to Pablo Cuevas in the first round on Monday, also held Eurosport TV journalist Maly Thomas around her neck as she tried to move away during a live interview at Roland Garros.

The French tennis federation issued a statement criticising Hamou’s “reprehensible behaviour with a journalist” and said its disputes commission will investigate the case “for improper conduct.”

Avante Leconte
Maxime Hamou was filmed forcibly grabbing and kissing journalist Maly Thomas 

Thomas told HuffPost France the incident was “frankly unpleasant”, adding: “If I hadn’t been live on air, I would have punched him.”

Hamou has since posted an apology on Instagram. He said: “I would like to offer my deepest apologies to Maly Thomas if she felt hurt or shocked by my behaviour during her interview.

“I just spent a wonderful week here at Roland Garros, living my most beautiful emotions as a tennis player and I let my overflow of enthusiasm express itself awkwardly towards Maly, who I know and who I sincerely respect.

“Nothing of what is written was my intention. I am available to her to present my apologies in person if she would like. I still learn every day from my mistakes to become a better tennis player and a better person.”

A post shared by Maxime Hamou (@hamou_maxime) on