US fencer Alen Hadzic, who was previously suspended over allegations of sexual misconduct, says he confronted his teammates after they deliberately wore pink masks ahead of the men’s épée test on Friday in an apparent protest against his place on the olympique team.
Jake Hoyle, Curtis McDowald and Yeisser Ramirez all stood alongside Hadzic wearing pink masks while Hadzic wore a black mask, but the 29-year-old fencer said United States today in an article published on Saturday that his teammates took a public stand against him without hearing his “side of the story”.
THE AMERICAN MEN’S FENCING TEAM WEAR PINK MASKS IN PROTEST OF A TEAMBOARD ACCUSED OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
“They never asked me for my side of the story,” he told the outlet. “They never asked for proof or how I felt. “
Hadzic was suspended in early June after three women came forward to allege separate incidents of sexual misconduct that allegedly took place between 2013 and 2015, United States today reported, citing a complaint.
His suspension was revoked and he was able to join the United States team as a substitute, but under significant restrictions including having him travel alone to Tokyo and staying at a separate hotel after being banned from the Olympic Village. .
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His appearance at the Games sparked a major backlash and on Friday his teammate appeared to make a statement.
Hadzic told USA Today it was McDowald who handed the masks to his team, making him the only fencer to wear a black mask.
“I just remember thinking it would be a little silly if I stood there with a black mask on and asked them if they had an extra one (pink), and they were like, ‘Oh, no’”
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Hadzic said he only realized what was going on after receiving a photo.
“I just told (Hoyle) that I was downright embarrassed to be his teammate,” he said. “I was embarrassed to stand with him,” adding that he had “chewed on” Ramirez.
“I told him it wasn’t cool.
The Americans lost 45-39 to Japan in the men’s épée. Hadzic did not compete as a substitute. He has repeatedly denied all the allegations.