November 5, 2023
Fencer Curtis McDowald has been formally suspended after allegations of misconduct were brought to light. Alongside the accusations, the U.S. fencer also got his team disqualified by the Pan-Am Senior Championships.
The misconduct occurred back in June when the 2021 Olympic fencer kicked his foot through a free-standing banner at the event in Peru. That action, in conjunction with his prior outburst, slapping an opponent who tried to shake his hand, led to the USA men’s épée team being disqualified from the rest of the competition.
Their participation in the championships, as the top-ranked team would have won a bronze medal had McDowald’s outburst not occurred, was crucial for qualifying for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. However, the disqualification grants them no eligible points, jeopardizing their entire run for the summer sporting event.
In consequence for the incidences, the U.S. Center for SafeSport declared that McDowald has been suspended, effective starting Nov. 3. The athlete will be unable to participate in any event sanctioned by USA Fencing, immediately barring him from being a present member of the organization.
USA Fencing released a statement regarding SafeSport’s, an independent body established by Congress, verdict.
“Once we became aware of the allegations, we immediately informed the U.S. Center for SafeSport, who exercised their ability to take jurisdictional control of the case and upheld our temporary measures,” expressed USA Fencing, as detailed by USA Today. “We take the safety and integrity of our sport seriously and will cooperate fully with the inquiry while maintaining the confidentiality of the involved parties. We also encourage anyone who has been harmed in sport to come forward, and we will support them to the fullest extent of our abilities.’’
To maintain confidentiality on the allegations, SafeSport offered no additional information on the matter, nor determined to the public on how long the suspension will last. McDowald also refused to comment on his current status with the team.
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