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TENNIS : MAXIME BANNED FROM FRENCH OPEN FOR TRYING TO KISS A REPORTER

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French wildcard Maxime Hamou has been banned from the tournament after he repeatedly tried to kiss a female journalist on live TV.

Tennis player Maxime Hamou’s accreditation has been revoked by the organisers of the French Open after the incident.

The French player, 21, kissed journalist Maly Thomas while holding her around her neck and shoulders, despite her efforts to duck away.

The wildcard put his arm around Thomas who was clearly uncomfortable by the situation 

In a statement, the French Tennis Federation (FTT) condemned the “reprehensible behaviour”.

Hamou has not responded.

The incident happened after he was knocked out of the first round of the competition on Monday. It was broadcast on Eurosport programme Avantage Leconte.

It has drawn ire on social media, including from French politician Cécile Duflot.

“He kisses her by force, she tries to get away, he holds her by the neck and everyone… laughs #tired,” the Green MP wrote on Twitter (in French).

Quoted by the Huffington Post France, Ms Thomas described the player’s actions as “frankly unpleasant”.

“If I hadn’t been live on air, I would have punched him.”

It is the latest case to provoke allegations of harassment of female sports reporters.

In January 2016, West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle drew a barrage of criticism after he asked a TV reporter for a date in a live interview.

He was later fined $7,200 (£4,900) by his club for “inappropriate conduct”.

It is not the first time Hamou, who has a career high singles ranking of 211, has caused controversy at this year’s French Open.

He walked out of an interview on Friday after a journalist posed a clumsy question. On Monday he also angrily berated an umpire on court, asking: “Why are you here?”

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