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Italy Fognini blames heat for homophobic slur Russia Medvedev scolds reporter cheating question

An Italian tennis star has bizarrely blamed the intense heat for repeatedly shouting homophobic slurs at himself during his Olympic loss - while his Russian opponent wants a reporter banned for asking about his nation cheating.

Fabio Fognini went down in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in a match during which he repeatedly called himself a 'frocio', which translates to a homophobic slur in Italian. 

'The heat went to my head,' Fognini said in his Instagram story after the match.

'In today's match I used a really stupid expression towards myself. Obviously I didn't want to offend anyone's sensibilities. I love the LGBT community and I apologize for the nonsense that came out of me.'

Medvedev also created controversy by lambasting a journalist for asking if Russian athletes are 'carrying a stigma of cheaters' at the Tokyo Games.

'I think you should [remove] him from either the Olympic Games, either the tennis tournament,' he said.

'I don't wanna see him again in my interviews. Thanks.'

Italian tennis star Fabio Fognini (pictured) has bizarrely blamed the intense heat for repeatedly shouting homophobic slurs at himself during his Olympic loss

Fognini went down in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in a match during which he repeatedly called himself a 'frocio' which translates to a homophobic slur in Italian

'I can finish the match, but I can die. If I die, are you going to be responsible?' Medvedev (in wheelchair) said to the umpire during the second set

Fognini's outburst came after he missed a return against the Russian.

The Italian blamed his choice of words on the intense heat, which prompted Medvedev to tell the umpire 'I can die' during the match.

'I can finish the match, but I can die. If I die, are you going to be responsible?' Medvedev said to the umpire during the second set.

He said post-match he 'couldn't breathe properly' on the court.  

'Even from the first set I didn't feel good enough with my breathing. I felt like my diaphragm was blocked, I couldn't breathe properly,' the Russian said.

Medvedev then got into an intense argument with a reporter who brought up Russia's ban from Olympic events for a nationalised doping program that saw them barred from competing under the country's name.

'The heat went to my head,' Fognini said in his Instagram story after the match

The Italian blamed his choice of words on the intense heat, which also prompted his opponent (pictured on stretcher) to tell the umpire 'I can die' during the match

The final question of his English press conference saw the tennis star grilled over Russia's continued involvement in the Olympics, with Medvedev refusing to respond.    

'Are the Russian Olympic team athletes carrying a stigma of cheaters in these Games after the scandal, and how do you feel about it?' the reporter asked.

'That's the first time in my life I'm not gonna answer a question, man. And you should be embarrassed of yourself,' Medvedev  said.

He then motioned to the press officer to remove the journalist as the reporter attempted to clarify. 

'That's the first time in my life... So you should be embarrassed.' 

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