US fencer participating in Olympics despite facing sexual misconduct allegations

Tokyo Olympics Fencing
Posted at 1:51 PM, Jul 27, 2021

TOKYO, Japan — An American fencer is participating in the Tokyo Olympics despite being accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women.

Alen Hadzic is one of 24 fencers representing Team USA at the Summer Games. He’s serving as a replacement on the men’s épée team.

Buzzfeed and The Washington Post report that the 29-year-old man is under investigation for at least three sexual misconduct allegations reported to the U.S. Center for Safesport, a nonprofit focused on protecting athletes from abuse.

As a result of those allegations, Hadzic was suspended in June from competing in the Olympics, but through an arbitration process, he was reportedly able to get the suspension lifted.

USA Fencing has put a “safety plan” in place in an attempt to keep Hadzic away from women and out of the Olympic Village during his time in Japan.

Buzzfeed reports that the plan includes him flying on a separate plane from his teammates, staying at a hotel room 30 minutes away from the other athletes, and not being permitted to practice alongside female teammates.

Some of Hadzic’s teammates believe he shouldn’t be able to compete in Tokyo at all. One Olympic fencer who filed a complaint against Hadzic told Buzzfeed that teammates are “pissed off” about the situation and claim “he’s been protected again and again.”

In an interview with USA Today, Hadzic denied any allegations of sexual misconduct and said, “They’re frankly not true.” An attorney representing the athlete told The New York Times that his client never committed any acts of sexual assault.