U.S. Fencer Alen Hadzic Allowed To Participate In Tokyo Olympics Despite Sexual Assault Allegations

Alen Hadzic is currently under investigation after several allegations of sexual misconduct but he is allowed to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Hadzic is being allowed to participate in the Olympics, despite three women coming forward saying he committed sexual misconduct in 2013 and 2015 after he was qualified for the Olympic fencing team in May. As a safety precaution he cannot reside in the Olympic village but at a hotel 30 minutes away. The decision was made hours before the opening ceremony.

But to many of his teammates, he shouldn’t be representing the country at all.

“We are pissed off that this is even a thing we had to deal with,” an Olympic fencer who filed a complaint against Hadzic alleging predatory behavior told BuzzFeed News from Tokyo. “He’s been protected again and again.”

The question over whether Hadzic would be allowed to compete in Tokyo fell to SafeSport, the nonprofit agency Congress put in charge of investigating misconduct in Olympic sports in 2018 following revelations that former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar had sexually assaulted scores of athletes.

Hadzic has denied allegations of sexual misconduct, telling USA Today that “they’re untruths.” His attorney, Michael Palma, told the New York Times that his client had never committed any acts of sexual assault. By barring him from staying in the Olympic Village, Palma said USA Fencing was preventing Hadzic “from participating in the Olympic experience that he has rightfully earned.”

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