Turf War breaks out amongst ICSD Executive Board members

Members of the ICSD Executive Board are battling with each other for overall control after the resignation of their president.

In our last post we explained that the ICSD Executive Board had removed its CEO and also explained that their Vice president of World Sport was unable to succeed to the vacant post of president according to its constitution. Instead, Mr Kihtir, a member at large, was appointed as chairman to prepare for an Extraordinary Congress and ensure continued business.

Immediately, the interim Vice President Mr Perazzolo e-mailed to complain publicly and argue on a technicality that the minutes of the Board meeting had not been signed and that he had been “…grossly removed from the post of ICSD Vice President by these 4 members at large.”

He argued that a proposal from the four regional presidents had been ignored and felt that it had been an “usurpation of power by members that are ready for everything to keep their seat in the EB (Executive Board).”

What we have seen since then is an outpouring of letters from national Deaf sport organisations lending their support to either camp. The majority are supporting a motion put forward by America and Germany that the post of president should be left vacant and and the chairpersons of the Regional organisations should take control until the next Congress.

Yesterday, Mr Perazzolo sent round a video message and a letter (neither appeared to correlate). In his letter he is arguing that he has the right to sucession according to article 3.2.f in the ICSD Byelaws:

f. order of Succession.

In the event of vacancy for the office of President, the Vice president of World Sports will assume the presidency, and the Vice President of World Sport position then be selected by the Executive Board.

This appears to be a reasonable argument to uphold, but our investigations suggest that if people want to argue on technicalities then we understand from our sources, that Mr Perazzolo was interim Vice President World Sport in name only and the post was not ratified by the 47th Congress in December 2019. It has been suggested that when Mr Chan was formerly accepted as interim President, then Mr Perazzolo’s appointment should have been endorsed too – but this did not happen.

However, a draft copy of the 47th Congress (2019) Minutes issued in May 2020, states:

Mr Mather (attorney) pointed out that at the next Board meeting, they will pick a Vice President – World Sports until the next Congress in 2001.

The Hungarian Deaf Sport Federation, have written a letter, signed by their president Dr Gergely Tapolczai who has been an MP since 2010 and also a member of the European Parliament and Vice President of the European Union of the Deaf;

“…Considering the proposals and suggestions made by either the ICSD Office or either some ICSD members we have to notice, that none of the proposals would solve the critical situation or any of the problems what the community is currently facing.

We do think that under the current circumstances the only way in terms of good legal acting is the chance of an Extraordinary congress, what must be held in the shortest period of time what is possible, so the fact of the election of the new board could save and protect deaf sport family for keep moving forward.

For the upcoming time till the Extraordinary Congress and election,we strongly and definitely recommend to reduce and restrict the power of the current board to a simple and easily supervised operational level, to avoid any acts or decisions (financial or professional) to prevent further miscarriage acts.

Summarising the written above, we still believe that the only chance to solve this critical and unacceptable situation is a new election what the Extraordinary Congress could give us.”

Thank you for reading, we will keep you updated.

ICSD Board removes its CEO

The Executive Board of the International Committee of Sport for the Deaf has decided to act swiftly amidst recent controversy and remove Dmitry Rebrov from his position as chief Operating Officer.

According to a copy of the minutes, which appear to be genuine and circulated to all national deaf sport organisations, the following decisions have been made:

  1. After accepting the resignation of Chen from the office of Interim President, Mr Yakup Umit Kihtir has been appointed as Chairman of the Board to ensure stability and continuity of ICSD activities and a continued smooth connection with the IOC.
  2. An interim president has not been appointed because the ICSD Constitution does not allow it to happen at this time.
  3. They have suspended Mr. Dmitry Rebrov, from duties as CEO due to unauthorised email correspondence which damaged the reputation of the ICSD due to some serious allegations that have been raised against him.
  4. Rebrov has also been removed from signing any financial papers or access to bank accounts
  5. Rebrov’s authorisation for access to all ICSD platforms including email, website and social media accounts has been shut down.

The Executive Board has decided that it will immediately begin hiring new staff to ensure continuity of activities.

The new chairman has been set the immediate task of arranging an Extraordinary Congress that will discuss the missing financial audits that have not been presented since 2018 and review the progress of the latest reform package as requested by Congress in December 2019. Congress will also elect a president since Mr Perozzolo, Vice President of World Sport is not eligible to be automatically appointed.

The Deaflympic Movement is changing its leadership as often as a Premier League football club

The ICSD (International Committee of Sport for the Deaf) has had a third president resign in less than two years.

From 1924 – 2018, the Deaflympic movement enjoyed a relatively strong and stable leadership under the steerage of nine presidents. With the exception of Eugene Rubens-Alcais (1924-1953) and Jerald M. Jordan (1971-1995) the other seven leaders have served an average of 5.8 years between them.

Since Valery Rukhledev resigned in 2018 under controversial circumstances alleging financial misconduct in Russia, there has been a very quick succession of substitutions. Rebecca Adam stood in temporarily until she was removed by the ICSD Executive Board in 2019 for reasons which remain unknown and was replaced temporarily by Vice President Kang Chen until formerly sworn in at the Winter Congress last December.

The surprise announcement on social media this week has come as shock to the Deaf sports community. The recent departures are not recorded on the news feed of deaflympics.com

President Kang Chen’s hasty departure comes immediately after he released a statement regarding the publication of allegations of criminal activity carried out over a number of decades by another ICSD Executive Board member who has personally denied the allegations against himself. The story deepens as he claims that his accuser is somebody impersonating his own brother who supposedly holds a grudge against him.

Chen’s statement (5th Sept) reads

This is to let you all know that ICSD conducted an internal review of the same situation about Mr. Grigor Grigoryan last July.

As a result, ICSD is satisfied with official documents provided to ICSD by the Armenian government and agreed to let Mr. Grigoryan to resume his ICSD responsibilities but on a condition that his situation be further reviewed by the ICSD legal Commission which is in process of being established soon.

By the way, intervening in domestic disputes is not within ICSD’s jurisdiction. What ICSD has done is to ensure it’s neutrality.

Thank you

Kang Chen, President.

Email: The Truth about Grigor Grigoryan, sent to ICSD members 5th Sept 2020.

The allegations that were circulated to all ICSD national committees, technical directors and officers implied impropriety both inside and outside Deaf sport. The accuser has threatened to send his files to the IOC if the ICSD fail to take action. So everyone will have to wait and see if the threat is carried out depending on the ICSD Legal Commission’s decision that is expected soon.

The statement put out by the ICSD announcing Kang Chen’s resignation yesterday was short. It simply reads:

Mr Kang Chan just resigned his post as ICSD president effectively now due to personal reasons. we on the ICSD Executive Board wish him the best of luck in his future pursuit and really appreciate his outstanding contributions to the ICSD sporting community.

Deaflympics.com social media 8th Sept 2020

Whether true or not, the allegations of criminality, suggests that blackmail was apparently used to force Rukhledev to make decisions about Executive Board appointments. People are left wondering if they are witnessing the results of an internal a power-grab at the very top.

Whatever is going on, whatever becomes the truth, this news draws further controversy to the door of the ICSD who rely heavily on funding from the IOC which was withdrawn in 2018 and will not be reinstated until ICSD is able to satisfactorily meet governance and operational standards befitting an member of the IOC family.