Rio Olympics: Benoit Paire, a French tennis player, was kicked out of his country’s Olympic team Tuesday for violating team rules.
According to several reports, Paire was asked to pack his bags after losing to Italy’s Fabio Fognini in the third round of the singles tournament. Fognini won the match 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5).
Arnaud Di Pasquale, the boss of the French Tennis Federation, told TV station France 2 that Paire’s behavior was unacceptable. “We are forced to take this decision after a series of discussions and violations on the rules of the group life that we gave ourselves.
“’It’s unacceptable, it’s a lack of respect towards his teammates and staff. If you’re in a team, you’ve to respect rules,” said Di Pasquale.
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According to the French tennis boss, Paire was warned several times before Tuesday. “I think we have already given him a lot. We did not see much in Rio (in terms of effort) and we cannot violate the rules of the jersey. He was warned several times…it was coming to him.”
Was Paire, the World No. 32, banished because he refused to take the Olympic games seriously? According to French publication Lequipe, Paire entered the Olympics treating the games as a side act to the ATP tour.
“It (Olympics) is not a goal for me. I can go (to Rio), but I cannot say it’s a goal (to win a medal). I have my season (ATP tour). My season is more important than the Olympics. For me, the season, the tennis, the ATP ranking. Here there is no point. Ok then I will try to win a medal, I’ll do my best, but the goal is the ATP,” he explained after his elimination in the first round of the Canadian Open.
France has won 6 medals at the Rio Olympics thus far, with two gold medals, one in Equestrian and the other in Canoe slalom.