Paris - Troubled French triple jumper Teddy Tamgho has denied hitting an amateur female athlete at a training camp, an action that has seen him banned until May 18 by the French athletics federation.
The world and European indoor champion was in December banned for six months, with a further six suspended, over the incident. He was also given a three-year probationary period, ordered to pay a 1 500 fine and undertake 50 hours of community service.
But Tamgho, in a broadcast on Thursday on the Generations FM webradio, denied that he had launched a physical attack on Glodie Tudiesche, who has stated that she had sustained knees to the head, punches and kicks.
"If I'd really done that, what's she still doing alive?" asked Tamgho, the indoor world record holder (17.92m).
"There was a little altercation about a personal affair," Tamgho said, explaining that Tudiesche had been telling friends that the triple jumper had asked her to marry him for two to three years.
"It was time to talk it all through. I came to sort out the matter amicably.
"You could say she felt ashamed in front of those she'd spun this yarn and she was irritated.
"I say it was an altercation because there was no punch delivered."
Tamgho admitted, however, that the situation got worse when a coach intervened to support Tudiesche at the training camp in the Var department on France's south-east coast where the triple jumper was pursuing his recovery from a right ankle injury that prevented him from competing in the world championships in Daegu, South Korea.
"When it happened it was more of a period of rehabilitation for me," Tamgho said. "I have proof that I wasn't capable of lifting weights.
"My weight was supposed to be around 65kg, I wasn't fit to jump. My physio says that if I'd enjoyed doing that sort of thing at that time, the bone would have broken and that would have been the end of my career.
"To say that I hit out is exaggerated."
Allegations aside, Tamgho suffered another hammerblow in the run-up to next year's London Olympics when kit sponsor Asics cancelled their contract, which was first signed in 2007, with the 22-year-old with immediate effect.
"After closely considering current circumstances, Asics is sorry to announce the termination of the sponsorship contract tying the brand to French triple jumper Teddy Tamgho," the company said in a statement.
"This termination brings an immediate end to the partnership between the athlete and the company. Asics wishes Teddy Tamgho good luck with the rest of his career."