Benoît Kounkoud, who was crowned European champion along with his French football team this past Sunday, was arrested by French police for attempted rape in a nightclub on Rue de Ponthieu, near the Champs-Elysées in the 8th arrondissement of Paris Tuesday morning.
Kounkoud, who was reportedly drunk inside the club, was taken into custody at 6:40 a.m.
“He pulled down his pants and tried to rape a young woman before being held down by a security guard,” a police source told French newspaper Valuers Actuelles.
The handball player had just won the European championships for the fourth time after beating Denmark (33-31) in overtime during the European finals in Cologne, Germany, on Jan. 28, 10 years after winning their last title.
In honor of the accomplishment, Kounkoud and the rest of the team were received by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace on Monday.
According to Valuers Actuelles, French prosecutors did not respond to a request for comment.
The French Handball Federation has responded to the allegations in a statement.
“FF Handball has taken note of the allegations against Benoît Kounkoud, who was taken into police custody in Paris on Tuesday morning,” read the French association’s first statement.
“FF Handball is currently not in a position to comment on this case and is closely following the further steps that the judicial authorities will take,” the federation later stated regarding the incident.
In a general statement, it was added that “in line with its zero-tolerance policy, which it has pursued for several years, FF Handball reiterates its determination to take action against any form of violence and severely condemns such acts, when they are proven and regardless of the person who committed it.”
This story is still developing.