Tokyo Olympics: American fencers wear pink masks in protest at teammate accused of sexual assault

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jul 31, 2021, 11:10 AM(IST)

Tokyo Olympics: American fencers wear pink masks in protest at teammate accused of sexual assault Photograph:( Twitter )

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Out of the four standing, Hadzic was the only one to not wear a pink mask. The reason behind their protest against their own teammate was because Alen Hadzic has been accused of sexual assault. 

American fencers Jake Hoyle, Curtis McDowald, and Yeisser Ramirez wore pink face masks in order to protest against their own teammate, Alen Hadzic, at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

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Out of the four standing, Hadzic was the only one to not wear a pink mask. The reason behind their protest against their own teammate was because Alen Hadzic has been accused of sexual assault. 

After his qualification for Tokyo Olympics in May, three women accused him of sexual misconduct that took place from 2013 to 2015. Even though his attorney, Michael Palma, said that the fencer is innocent of all allegations, he did confirm that Hadzic was suspended from Columbia University for the 2013-14 school year after an investigation involving sexual consent.

Despite being initially suspended by the US Center for SafeSport, the watchdog that protects athletes from abuse, he managed to get his ban lifted through arbitration.

USA Fencing made arrangements for Hadzic to travel to Tokyo apart from the rest of the team and he has to stay in a separate hotel.

“The disdain was clear,” one source told BuzzFeed News about the mask protest.

Another fencer, who is not at the games, told the news outlet, that “they decided to make a statement that they were not standing for him being there”.

“They wanted to make a distinction between themselves that they didn’t stand for sexual assault or abuse against women. These athletes wanted to have a voice where US Fencing and SafeSport failed.”

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