Alen Hadzic is representing the United States at the Olympic Games. He has also been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, and has been separated from the rest of the athletes in Tokyo.
Hadzic’s three teammates on the U.S. men’s épée team – Jake Hoyle, Curtis McDowald and Yeisser Ramirez – wore pink masks in apparent protest of Hadzic before their matchup against Japan on Friday.
Many protestors have previously used pink objects to express support of women.
Hadzic did not wear a pink mask. He also did not compete, as he was on the team as an alternate. The U.S. lost 45-39 to Japan, clinching the Americans’ ninth-place finish.
Hadzic was suspended by the U.S. Center for SafeSport on June 2 after three women accused him of sexual assault on three different occasions. An arbitrator overturned the suspension on June 29 after Hadzic appealed, meaning the fencer was allowed to attend the Olympics.
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“I think one case is enough for you to not be allowed to compete at the f—ing Olympics,” one of his accusers told USA Today anonymously. “It really makes you question how far someone needs to go in order for them not to be able to compete.’’
While he was allowed to attend, a “safety plan” was put in place. Hadzic was barred from the Olympic Village – he had to stay in a nearby hotel – and was required to fly to Tokyo by himself. USA Fencing, along with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, imposed the restrictions.
USA Fencing was not in support of Hadzic – a graduate of Montclair High School in Montclair, N.J. – attending the Olympics.
“Team athletes have expressed concerns for their safety and well-being arising from your presence, which they say are likely to adversely affect their mental and emotional abilities to prepare and compete at the highest levels required for success in the Olympic Games,” CEO Kris Ekeren emailed Hadzic, which was obtained by USA Today. “Several have asked that USA Fencing put measures in place to keep them safe and minimize distractions from training and competition. Accordingly, USA Fencing, in conjunction with the USOPC, will implement a safety plan for the upcoming Olympic Games.”