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French players suspended over behaviour at Olympics

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2016 Rio Olympics - Tennis - Preliminary - Men's Singles Second Round - Olympic Tennis Centre - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 09/08/2016. Benoit Paire (FRA) of France in action against Fabio Fognini (ITA) of Italy. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Files
2016 Rio Olympics - Tennis - Preliminary - Men's Singles Second Round - Olympic Tennis Centre - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 09/08/2016. Benoit Paire (FRA) of France in action against Fabio Fognini (ITA) of Italy. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Files

PARIS (Reuters) - The French Tennis Federation (FFT) has provisionally suspended Benoit Paire, Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia for "damaging" the organisation's image by their behaviour at this month's Rio Olympics.

"Following the Rio Olympics, the Committee of the French Tennis Federation met at length about the case of the players who violated the federation and damaged the image of tennis," the FFT said in a statement.

Paire, seeded 16th at the Games, lost to Fabio Fognini of Italy in the second round. The 27-year-old was kicked out of his country's Olympic team for spending too much time away from the athletes' village, local media reported.

Mladenovic and Garcia were suspended for "strongly criticising" the FFT following a mix-up over their clothing.

They said they had not been told to wear the same coloured kit for the women's doubles event in Rio and had to change shortly before their first-round loss to Japan's Misaki Doi and Eri Hozumi.

The pair won the French Open women's doubles title in June and are key players in the country's Fed Cup team which has reached this year's final against the Czech Republic in November.

The three players, who the FFT said showed an "unacceptable attitude", will not be selected to represent their country pending a final decision on Sept. 24.

(Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)


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