French handball player Benoît Kounkoud suspected of attempted rape in Paris

PARIS (AP) — Handball player Benoît Kounkoud, who was part of the France team that won the European championship, was released from police custody Wednesday pending further investigation into an allegation that he tried to rape a woman, the Paris prosecutor's office said.

Kounkoud, 26, was arrested early Tuesday in the French capital after a woman accused him of trying to rape her in a night club during a party, a Paris prosecutor said in a statement.

After beating Denmark in the European championship final on Sunday in Cologne, Germany, the French team had returned home on Monday and was received by President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace.

France is one of the favorites in handball at the Paris Olympics this summer, when the host country is hoping to be in the top five of the medals table.

Kounkoud plays for Polish club Kielce, having previously had a stint with Paris Saint-Germain.

The French handball federation said it would not comment but that it is determined to fight against all forms of violence.

Kounkoud's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment. Attorney Mario Stasi told French sports daily L'Équipe that his client “disputes the facts” of the case.


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