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U.S. fencer under investigation for sexual misconduct loses appeal to stay at Olympic Village

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The wall between Alen Hadzic and his teammates will stay in place.

The U.S. Olympic fencer, who is under investigation for sexual misconduct, lost an appeal to move into the Olympic Village and will remain in a hotel about a 30-minute drive away, according to USA TODAY. Hazdic’s attorney Michael Palma said an arbitrator upheld restrictions placed on him that were described by USA Fencing as part of a “safety plan”, according to a complaint filed by the athlete with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

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

After Hadzic qualified for the Olympic fencing team as a men’s epee alternate in May, three women alleged Hadzic committed sexual misconduct against them in separate incidents between 2013 and 2015. In early June, U.S. SafeSport banned Hadzic, who denies the allegations, on a temporary basis. 

An arbitrator lifted the suspension late last month, allowing him to go to Tokyo, but USA Fencing imposed the restrictions as a condition of participation. Katharine Holmes, a member of the fencing team, said she collected electronic signatures from every other team member supporting a document that stated Hazdic should not be allowed at the Olympics. 

Palma disputed whether Holmes had the signatures, but indicated “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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