Elsa / Getty Images
Elsa / Getty Images
The US fencing team is not happy with Allen Hadzic representing the United States at the Tokyo Olympics.
Immediately on the list, the 29-year-old was accused of sexual misconduct between 2013 and 2015 by three women.
Hadzic denied the allegations and successfully appealed the suspension that would have kept him from the US team.
On Friday, the men’s team conveyed their displeasure to the world, wearing pink masks in support of the victims of sexual assault. It made for a stunning photo with Jake Howell, Curtis McDouald, and Yusir Ramirez featured in the light-colored masks, while Hadzic was the weird man out in black.
#TeamUSA The men’s team Epee wore pink masks to their opening match at the Olympics as a show of support for victims of sexual assault. Allen Hadzic – their teammate accused of rape and sexual assault – is left. Kudos to the team for taking a stand. #BelieveWomen pic.twitter.com/yRI4azelKN
– Ibtihaj Muhammad (IbtihajMuhammad) 30 July 2021
Hadzic has been suspended from all fencing activities by the US Center for Safe Sports, an self-reliant agency that investigates sexual assault in Olympic sports. But weeks later, an arbitrator ruled that the suspension was “inappropriate to the allegations,” New York times mentioned.
It was also decided that adding Hadzic to Team USA would not be “harmful to the reputation of the United States or his sport”.
In an email he received USA TodayChris Eckerin, CEO of USA Fencing, wrote to Hadzic, saying his teammates have the opposite feeling.
“However, team athletes have expressed concerns about their safety and well-being arising from your presence, which they say has the potential to negatively impact their mental and emotional abilities to prepare for and compete at the highest levels required for success in the Olympics,” Ekeren wrote.
“Many USA Fencing has requested measures to maintain their safety and decrease distractions from training and competition. Accordingly, USA Fencing, in conjunction with the USOPC, will implement a safety plan for the upcoming Olympic Games.”
The swordsman was forbidden to stay in the Olympic Village. Instead, he was staying at a nearby hotel. He was also forced to travel to Tokyo separately from his teams.
Hadzic’s attorney, Michael Palma, said USA Fencing is keeping the Olympians out of the public eye to avoid negative publicity. The result, Palma said New York times, It prevents him from “participating in the Olympic experience that he rightfully gained.”
In the end, Hadzic, a substitute on the team, did not participate in the games. The US men’s Epee team lost to Japan on Friday and finished ninth.