Martial Arts Gym Disavows Link To Boston Bombing Suspect

John Allan, the owner of Boston’s Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts Center published a statement on his Facebook page Friday to address the gym’s association with the deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. A 2010 photo essay in Boston University’s graduate school magazine described Tsamaev training for “national Golden Gloves competitions” in an effort to qualify “for the next U.S. Olympic team and become a naturalized American.” That article said Tsamaev “works out at the Wai Kru Mixed Martial Arts Center.” In his statement Allan made clear, Tsamaev was never an official member of Wai Kru.

“It’s hard to keep up with all the questions phone calls and messages right now. I’d like to thank everybody for the overwhelming support and confidence,” Allan wrote. “Wai Kru MMA would like to first take the time to say our hearts go out to the victims and their families of this horrible tragedy. Tamerlan Sarnayev [sic] was not now, or ever a member of the Wai Kru MMA facilities. He was a local golden gloves boxer who came into the gym to spar from time to time.”

Allan added that, “Wai Kru has been working closely with the FBI & Homeland Joint Task Force all morning to provide them with any materials that might be useful to bring these people to justice for their heinous crimes.”

Another man, who identified himself as “Mags” and said he was using his wife’s account to post on Facebook, wrote a message describing Tsamaev’s links to the gym.

“I sparred with this fucking duche bag [sic] many times. Nothing is Wai Kru’s fault here. no one had any idea,” Mags wrote.

As of this writing, neither Mags or Allan have responded to requests for comment on this story.

Photo of Tsamaev boxing:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com
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