This week we have been asked to publish the following statement from the ICSD Executive Board, the same document has been forwarded to all national Deaf sport federation offices.
ICSD Executive Board’s Statement regarding the 48th Extraordinary Congress (‘Congress’), taken place on November 28 and 29 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Due to concerns regarding the integrity and transparency of the recent ICSD Extraordinary Congress, the following ICSD Executive Board Members, Rebecca Adam, Grigor Grigoryan and Marijo Lusić reiterate comments that were provided at the recent Extraordinary Congress:
• The ICSD Board (Rebecca Adam, Grigor Grigoryan, Marijo Lusić, Jack Lamberton & Yakup Umit Kihtir) suspended Dmitry Rebrov in September 2020 and confirmed this in 2021 however he refused to cease his activities at ICSD.
• Mr Rebrov removed the ICSD Board’s access to their ICSD emails and refused to hand over access to ICSD’s Facebook and website. The Board had no way of communicating with Members. As a result, the Board set up gmail accounts, a temporary Facebook page and
YouTube channel to keep communication lines open with Members.
• In addition, Mr Rebrov made it very difficult, if not, impossible for the ICSD board from accessing bank accounts and statements. As a result, the Board were unable to monitor financial transactions at ICSD.
• The Board made many attempts to co-operate with Mr Rebrov however, we received no acknowledgement or response to any of our letters or emails. Instead, he chose to collaborate with Gustavo Perazzolo and the Regional Confederation Presidents (Mohamad Madoun, Mohammad Pargar, Iosif Stavrakakis & Pedro Bonnassiolle) to further undermine the ICSD Board.
• Gustavo Perazzolo was never appointed as Vice-President. If so, why isn’t he registered with the commercial register? What is the basis for his claim as President of ICSD? There are no minutes to this effect.
• Mr Rebrov and Mr Felli claimed that the former Board were suspended; by whom? Mr Rebrov is neither entitled to do it, nor Mr Perazzolo. It is illegal to suspend a board mid-term and there was no provision in the Constitution that allows for an unusual and undemocratic procedure to take place. This sets an undesirable precedent for ICSD in that future Boards serve at the whim of the Secretariat.
• Country Member Countries were confused and frustrated at who was running ICSD because Mr Rebrov continued to represent ICSD while suspended.
The Board would like to outline that at the Extraordinary Congress:
~ ICSD had 116 Members on the list, however 55 Countries were represented at the Extraordinary Congress (51 physically and 4 online). It was impossible to achieve an accurate quorum due to inconsistencies with ICSD Membership status. The Board did not have access to the complete list of Members as well as had no knowledge of which countries had paid to date (even members were not aware that they have not paid their membership fee);
~ Several paid Members were blocked from accessing the Extraordinary Congress in Lausanne or via Zoom Livestream event;
~ Grigor Grigoryan and Rebecca Adam clarified that it is the Board’s responsibility to manage staff including the position of the CEO, not the other way around. Ms Adam also outlined Mr Rebrov’s inability to manage the organisation in the spirit of the IOC’s universal
standards of good governance and accountability. For example, whilst working as a CEO at ICSD, he organised an Extraordinary Congress without the mandate of the elected Executive Board. This represents a significant governance risk to the organisation that demands disclosures to maintain trust and confidence of ICSD members.
~ Members voted to adopt the Financial Reports despite the Board not having received and approved the audited reports. The Board made several attempts to clarify they had not received bank statements and audited reports and were not able to verify if they are true records of ICSD’s financial status. They objected to the adoption of the Financial Report on the basis there was no clear transparency and accountability around the management of ICSD Finances.
~ It is agreed that representation and ensuring that all have voting rights is healthy, however the amount of corruption made the new processes untenable.
~ Congress voted to approve Mr Rebrov’s new Constitution. Ms Adam requested a symposium to review and discuss each clause to ensure each were appropriate for ICSD’s needs. Instead, only a few clauses were discussed; the rest were adopted without even a cursory glance at its contents. This is completely unheard of and sets a dangerous precedent for the future of the ICSD.
~ Even though the topic of “Elections” was not endorsed to be added to the Agenda, the Members supported Mr Rebrov’s request to vote in a new ICSD Board on the basis that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made a request for this to occur.
~ Despite the Board’s objections, the elections went ahead and as a result, Rebecca Adam, Grigor Grigoryan, Marijo Lusić and Jack Lamberton withdrew their nomination because they did not want to be part of a compromised Congress or an election where public integrity, governance and corruption was much more significant than for many previous elections, and possibly ever.
~ The Brazil Deaf Sports Confederation unexpectedly withdrew their 2022 Rio de Janeiro Deaflympic Games bid during the morning of the second day of the Extraordinary Congress. As a result, Caxias du Sol ended up being chosen by Members despite several sports venues not meeting international standards (including Athletics, Basketball and Swimming). In addition, Mr Perazzolo resides in Caxias du Sol therefore he personally stands to gain from the hosting of the Deaflympics in his home city whilst also acting as ICSD President and President of the Deaflympics Organising Committee.
~ Congress also voted to launch an investigation into the above matters. Ms Adam requested that this be led by an external law firm to ensure impartiality of its investigations. However, at Mr Rebrov’s request, this will now be an internal investigation managed by the
Secretariat and the new Board and composed of members from within the ICSD membership who have many ties to the current Board and /or the Secretariat, making it untenable for such initiative to be neutral or free of bias.
A Way Forward
We are committed to protect the mission of the organization by strengthening the ethical foundations and help create an efficient and effective organization that promotes democracy, transparency and dialogue within ICSD.
Governance begins with a shared commitment to define and implement the applicable rules in a coherent and equitable manner.
Good governance requires rigorous due diligence. Further factual inquiry and purposive analysis of organizational conduct are required. This is particularly important because the difference between good governance and poor governance almost always results from inadequate application of the rules that have been adopted or from deliberate misapplication of them.
Ms Adam, Mr Grigoryan and Mr Lusić are deeply saddened at what transpired at the Extraordinary Congress and strongly believe that the two day Congress do not meet the universal governance standards mandated by the International Olympics Committee. We want to see the establishment of a good governance to lead the ICSD into a healthy future
guided by independent professionals Deaf and hard of hearing athletes deserve so much better through strong governance, ethical leadership, transparent communications, and
collaboration that puts them at the heart of Deaf Sports.
End of Media Statement
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