Wednesday, May 31, 2023  |



Moroccan boxer arrested for sexual assault at Rio Games on Friday

Fighters Network

A Moroccan boxer set to compete in the Olympics was arrested on Friday by Brazilian police in Rio de Janerio for allegedly sexually assaulting a pair of Brazilian women, according to the Associated Press. The arrest comes on the same day the Olympic Games opening ceremony is to take place.

Local authorities said that Hassan Saada, a light heavyweight scheduled to fight on Saturday, is in custody for allegedly assaulting two waitresses who were employed at the Olympic Village at Barra da Tijuca. According to a statement released by the police, the alleged incident took place on Wednesday. No other details were disclosed. Saada, 22, will remain in custody for 15 days while a rape investigation is carried out, though he could be jailed longer under Brazilian law as the search for evidence takes place, according to the AP.

According to the British online newspaper, the Independent, Saada allegedly provoked the attack after he asked one of the women to pose for a photo with him. He then allegedly shoved the woman against a wall and attempted to kiss her, the Independent said. Saada has also been accused of fondling the breasts of the second woman and making a lewd gesture toward her while also propositioning her with money to commit a sexual act on him, the Independent reported.

Saada, who was not expected to medal, was set to face Turkey’s Mehmet Nadir on Saturday. He has been removed from the games. AIBA, which sanctions Olympic boxing, released a statement on the situation.

“AIBA has taken note of the serious allegations made against a Moroccan boxer who was due to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” said Nicolas Jomard, senior corporate and media relations manager for AIBA, according to Yahoo Sports. “We understand that the situation is being dealt with by the local Brazilian authorities and have complete confidence that they will handle the matter appropriately. AIBA will not make any further comments at this time and asks that the media direct any queries on this subject to the Moroccan NOC.”