LONDON (AP) — West Ham has fined defender Kurt Zouma two weeks' wages, and the player has relinquished custody of his two cats as part of an animal-abuse investigation.
The 27-year-old France international has apologized for kicking and slapping a cat in abuse caught on video.
He has also lost his sponsorship deal with Adidas.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has taken custody of Zouma's two cats while it investigates.
The Premier League club says, "Kurt and the club are co-operating fully."
West Ham says it fined Zouma "the maximum amount possible" — which is two weeks' wages and that he accepted the fine and requested it is donated to animal welfare charities.
He was reportedly fined more than $300,000, the Associated Press reported.
"West Ham United would like to reiterate our condemnation of Kurt’s actions and make it clear that the matter continues to be handled with the utmost seriousness, the team said in a statement on Wednesday. "However, we believe it is now important to allow the RSPCA to conduct their investigation in a fair and thorough manner, and will be making no further comment at this stage."
According to the news outlet, the club’s official wellness partner Vitality said it was suspending its sponsorship and would address the team “to understand what actions they will be taking to address the situation."