The U.S. Center for SafeSport has ruled former USA fencing coach Mauro Hamza permanently ineligible for membership in the organization, citing alleged sexual misconduct involving minors.
Hamza was suspended by USA Fencing in 2014 for five years, also for alleged sexual misconduct.
A 2020 lawsuit filed by “Jane Doe” was settled last December after the woman said Hamza had coerced her to have sex with him at a youth fencing event when she was a minor in the 1990s. He also allegedly repeatedly molested and sexually harassed her.
Doe said she had to accept Hamza’s sexual advances because “once their relationship went beyond that of a typical student-athlete/coach, for Plaintiff, it meant that there was no going back because if anyone found out, it would have meant the end of fencing for Plaintiff,” per the Houston Press.
Most of the alleged abuse occurred in the Houston area, but the suit was filed in Arizona based on an alleged incident in Phoenix when she was 17. The state allowed people over the age of 30 who were abused as minors to sue their alleged abusers before the end of 2020.
The suit also listed USA Fencing as a defendant, with Doe saying the organization did not do enough to protect her from Hamza and knew that she and Hamza would share hotel rooms and transportation to and from practice alone. The case was settled in December 2022.
Hamza coached the U.S. team from 2009 to 2011 but became a prominent fixture when he was the fencing program coordinator at Rice University from 1995 to 2014. He coached Egypt, his home country, in the 2004 Olympics and participated in three Olympics himself.
Lawyers believe Hamza currently lives in Egypt.
Hamza is able to appeal the suspension, and the punishment is deemed “not yet final.“