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U.S. Fencer Loses Appeal to Move Into Olympic Village

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A United States fencer has lost his appeal to move into the Olympic Village after accusations of sexual misconduct were leveled against him.

An arbitrator upheld restriction that were placed on Alen Hazdic by USA Fencing that prohibited him from staying at the Olympic Village. Hazdic has been staying at a hotel which is a 30-minute drive from the hotel.

USA Fencing characterized the restrictions as part of a “safety plan,” according to USA Today. The arbitration hearing was triggered by a complaint filed against Hazdic with the United States Olympic Paralympic Committee.

As part of the arbitration, Hazdic will be allowed to move to a hotel that is closer to the Olympic Village, his attorney said.

“The process was properly followed. The athletes had the opportunity to be heard, and we are satisfied with the decision,” said USPOC spokesperson Jon Mason.

In May, three women reported Hazdic to U.S. Center for SafeSport, alleging separate incidents of sexual misconduct between 2013 and 2015. Hazdic has denied all allegations against him but was temporarily suspended. 

An arbitrator lifted the temporary suspension on June 28, allowing Hazdic to join the team. However, USA Fencing imposed restrictions on his participation in Tokyo.

Attorney Michael Palma said that Katherine Holmes, a member of the Olympic fencing team, said she had collected electronic signatures form every team member in support of a document stating Hazdic should not be allowed to participate at the Olympics.

Palma disputed whether Holmes actually had the signatures, but also said, “maybe one or two girls are just taking the side of, I don’t want to be around him, which sucks for Alen, because at the end of the day, when’s the next time he’s going to be able to partake in this kind of experience? 

“Probably never again."

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