Fencer Alen Hadzic Loses Olympic Village Appeal Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJuly 23, 2021

RICHMOND, CANADA - FEBRUARY 8: Alen Hadzic of the USA (left) fences Max Heinzer of Switzerland during the individual finals at the Peter Bakonyi Men's Epee World Cup on February 8 2020 at the Richmond Olympic Oval in Richmond, Canada. (Photo by Devin Manky/Getty Images)
Devin Manky/Getty Images

U.S. Olympic fencer Alen Hadzic, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by three women and is under investigation, will not be allowed to stay at the Olympic Village with his teammates after losing an appeal Thursday, per Josh Peter of USA Today.

An arbitrator upheld the decision of USA Fencing, which said it was preventing Hadzic from staying at the Olympic Village as part of a "safety plan."

"The process was properly followed," United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee spokesperson Jon Mason said. "The athletes had the opportunity to be heard, and we are satisfied with the decision."

The arbitrator determined Hadzic, who has been staying at a hotel 30 minutes from the Olympic Village, could get a hotel room closer to the training center ahead of the Tokyo Games.

In May, three women accused Hadzic of sexual misconduct from 2013-15 to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which temporarily suspended the Olympic hopeful June 2. He has denied the accusations.

"Frankly, they're untruths," Hadzic told Peter and colleague Christine Brennan. "They're just frankly not true."

That suspension was overturned by an arbitrator June 28, allowing Hadzic to compete at the Games.

"I find that the 'temporary suspension' is inappropriate to the allegations," Judge Sherrie L. Krauser ruled. "Specifically, I find that the lack of any allegation of misconduct in the past two years, the continuing probation supervision of USA Fencing and the strict regulation of members of the U.S. Olympic team provide sufficient guarantees to the 'safety or well-being' of others to lift the temporary suspension."

But U.S. fencer Katharine "Kat" Holmes reportedly had electronic signatures from every athlete on USA Fencing saying they did not feel Hadzic should be allowed to compete in Tokyo.

USA Fencing placed restrictions on Hadzic, including not allowing him to stay in the Olympic Village.

"I think one case is enough for you to not be allowed to compete at the f--king Olympics," one of the women who accused Hadzic of sexual misconduct told Peter and Brennan. "It really makes you question how far someone needs to go in order for them not to be able to compete."