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.

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