Benoit Paire banned from Tokyo Olympics due to his ‘deeply inappropriate behaviour’
French Tennis Federation barred Benoit Paire from representing France at the Tokyo Olympics
French Tennis Federation president Gilles Moretton stated Paire’s behavior was “totally incompatible with the Olympic spirit”.
Paire would have qualified as the French No.4 and world No.35 but has been disqualified after coming into headlines on the news number of times throughout the years with his comments on and off the pitch.
The 31-year-old, a famously peevish character on the court, has not attempted to hide his aversion of life on tour during the coronavirus pandemic, with the players’ off-court freedoms restrained and tournaments held behind restricted doors.
In his Instagram post last month, Paire described the tour had become “sad, boring and ridiculous”, he also stated he wants to lose in the first round matches and that’s what will give him escape life in a bubble.
He has lost nine of his 10 singles matches this season and, following defeat by Jordan Thompson at the Monte Carlo Masters last week, Paire said: “I just don’t care. There’s no magic. What is the pleasure of playing like this?
“If you’ve experienced the tour and you see how it is now, the only thing you want is to just go away.”
The FFT’s statement said that Paire had apologized following a conversation with president Gilles Moretton.
Moretton said: “His deeply inappropriate behavior since the start of the year seriously undermines the values of sport, the image of tennis and is totally incompatible with the Olympic spirit.
“It is the duty of each player and each high-level player to respect the values of our sport and it is up to them to be exemplary on the court as well as off, especially vis-a-vis the young people of our country.”
It is not the first time Paire has been disciplined by the FFT. At the Rio Olympics in 2016, he has kicked off the team after losing his second-round singles matches for poor behavior and breaching team rules.