The legal representatives of the Russian beach Volleyball athlete Rushan Dayanov have filed a lawsuit of slander to protect his honour and dignity against accusations made by Valery Rukhledev in a TV interview that he is in fact hearing and should not be competing in deaf sport.
We are grateful to readers of our website who have alerted us to this case. The information is available on the Russian website DEAFNET from October 2022. It also has a video of Dayanov as he has a hearing test to prove that his deafness meets ICSD standards of 55dB or more in the better ear.
The story came about after ICSD received an anonymous latter claiming that the athlete has fraudulently won a Beach Volleyball gold medal at the 2005 Deaflympics in Melbourne. Such accusation are very serious for Russian athletes because if they are disqualified, they not only lose their medal but also a pension from the government.
Dayanov’s team-mate in the Beach Volleyball competition was Stanislav Ivanov the head of the All-Russian Society of the Deaf (VOG) which suggests that the letter was actually written by disgruntled former employees at VOG who have a vendetta against Ivanov and that Dayanov has become the scapegoat.
The lawyer representing Dayanov claim to have irrefutable proof of his hearing loss and in the video, the athlete said “I achieved the championship with sweat and blood, worked hard for 20 years to deserve this prize- not only for myself, but first of all the country. This whole situation was an absolute shockfor me. I have nothing to hide. It hurts that for the sake of petty intrigues, swindlers are ready to break a persons life.”
The lawyer Daryakuliev promises that the response to slander would be ‘extremely harsh’. The defendants in the case are Rukhledev, the All-Russian Television of the Deaf and its editor in chief Alexander Soldatov. Applications have already been prepared to initiate criminal cases under the charge of ‘slander’.
The video in the article shows Rukhledev talking to All-Russian Deaf TV “Dyanov spoke among the deaf, but in fact he is 100% hearing”. he speaks fluently and does not know sign language. This is already a global scandal.”
This case does raise issues around the proof that athletes require to compete in international deaf sports. In the athlete’s defence it has been explained that he has speech that is almost indistinguishable from that of hearing people because he did not become deaf until he was 10 years old after a serious illness. Comments on the website suggest that it may be very difficult to prove what his hearing was like in 2005, because Dayanov is now 62/63 years of age and likely that he would present such a level of deafness for his age.
His last Deaflympic competition was in 2017 when he won a bronze medal in the beach Volleyball.
The lawyer also argues that the Russian Deaflympic committee should not be undertaking disciplinary checks on the basis of an anonymous letter and should have taken measures to protect athletes from anonymous accusations and identifying the authors of such letters.
We have no updates on this case, perhaps our readers will keep us informed?