A US Olympic fencer is facing “arbitrary and unnecessary” sanctions at the Tokyo Games, amid allegations of sexual harassment.
Alan Hadzik, 29, received a temporary suspension from the US Center for SafeSport in June after three women accused him of sexual misconduct between 2013-2015. An arbitrator overturned the suspension last month, allowing Hadzik to compete in the Olympics as a substitute in the men’s AP competition, which begins Sunday.
Hadzik’s experience, however, would be unusual. According to an official complaint filed by Hadzik, USA Fencing forced her to fly to Tokyo herself, training separately from the rest of the team and bunking her in a hotel instead of the Olympic Village. USA Fencing said that “team athletes have expressed concerns for their safety and well-being arising from (Hadzik’s) presence.”
Hadzik has requested that the restrictions be lifted before Friday’s opening ceremony. The arbitration hearing is to be held on Thursday.
“Basically, (USA Fencing) wants to hide Mr. Hadzick and prevent him from participating in the Olympic experience, which he has rightfully earned,” Hadzik’s attorney Michael Palma wrote in the complaint. “(USA Fencing) states that they have received Mr Hadzik from the Olympic experience to enhance the physical and emotional security of the ‘parties’ during an investigation, to support a fair and neutral process and to assist in the prevention of retaliatory behavior from all There is a need to separate the parties.”
Hadzik has repeatedly denied the allegations against him.
“Frankly, they’re untrue.” Hadzik told USA Today. “They are clearly not true.”
Hadzik, a New Jersey native, qualified for the Tokyo Olympics on May 7. Should he attend the Games, it would be his Olympic debut after he missed qualifying for the 2016 Games in Rio.