“If it hadn’t been live on air, I would have punched him,” the reporter said.
French Open officials have banished Maxime Hamou from Roland Garros for the rest of the tournament after he forcibly kissed Eurosport reporter Maly Thomas during an interview on Monday.
Hamou lost his first-round match Monday to Pablo Cuevas and was interviewed live on Eurosport by Thomas after the match. Hamou threw his arm around her shoulder and kissed her on the neck and head as she attempted to duck away. Some of Thomas’s colleagues in the studio laughed and clapped during the episode.
“If it had not been live on air, I would have punched him,” Thomas told the French version of Huffington Post, describing the incident as “frankly unpleasant.”
“These situations are trivialized and should not be,” she added.
The French tennis federation issued a statement about Hamou’s “reprehensible behavior” and said he will be investigated “for improper conduct.” A Eurosport statement also called Hamou’s actions “highly inappropriate.”
Hamou, 21, is ranked No. 287 in the world.