Amid allegations of sexual assault, a US Olympic fencer faces restrictions at the Tokyo Games that he believes are « arbitrary and unnecessary. »
Alen Hadzic, 29, was removed from the US Center in June for SafeSport temporarily banned after three women accused him of sexual misconduct between 2013 and 2015. Men’s epee competition, which begins on Sunday.
However, Hadzic’s experience will be abnormal. According to an official complaint from Hadzic, USA Fencing forced him to fly to Tokyo on his own, train separately from the rest of the team and keep him in a hotel instead of the Olympic Village. USA Fencing claimed that « team athletes have raised concerns about their safety and wellbeing due to (Hadzic’s) presence. »
Hadzic has requested that restrictions be lifted ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony. Arbitration is scheduled for Thursday.
« Basically (USA Fencing) wants to hide Mr. Hadzic and prevent him from taking part in the Olympic experience that he has rightly earned, » Hadzic’s lawyer Michael Palma wrote in the complaint . « (USA Fencing) declares that they must separate Mr. Hadzic from the Olympic experience in order to increase the physical and emotional security of the parties during an investigation, to support a fair and neutral process, and to prevent retaliatory behavior from all parties. » Hadzic, a native of New Jersey, qualified for the Tokyo Olympics on May 7th. Should he compete in the Games, it will be his Olympic debut after narrowly missing out on qualifying for the 2016 Games in Rio.
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