The disgraced former ICSD President Valery Rukhledev as been removed from the list of ICSD Medal of Honor recipients and he has been asked to return the award.
Rukhledev was the 9th ICSD President form 2013 -2018 despite concerns about his integrity to hold office. The Russian Deaf community had long been dissatisfied with VOG, the All-Russian Society of the Deaf of which he also presided whilst ICSD president.
As we reported here, earlier this month, Rukhledev has been sentenced to seven years on a penal colony for his part in embezzling funds relating to VOG. Because of this, the ICSD Executive has decided to withdraw the medal of Honor that he was awarded in 2017 in recognition of his contributions to international deaf sports. The Executive decided that ‘Mr Rukhledev no longer meets the criteria for this esteemed award.’
The global Deaf community has reacted in frustration to the ICSD handling of further misdemeanours by their Russian-based CEO.
Earlier this month, Deaf sports community watchers were alerted to the fact that the ICSD CEO was endorsing and leading Russia’s plans to hold their own government sponsored, ‘Alternative Summer Deaflympics’ because they, along with Belarus are banned from international competitions due to their stance on the illegal invasion of Ukraine.
Nothing wrong with Russia doing their own thing, they have to to everything they can to keep the Russian population in the dark on what’s happening in Ukraine.
But a news video broadcasted on You Tube by Russian Deaf Television, shows Dmitry Rebrov, the employee of the ICSD and supposed guardian of the Deaflympic brand, endorsing the “Alternative Deaflympic Summer Games” in Ufa, Russia.
Shocked by this blatant disregard for the integrity of Deaf sport, and a claim that Russia intends to invite other nations to participate, the Deaflympic historian Pinchas, shared the story and video on 3rd March asking what ICSD planned to do about it.
On 21st March, ICSD issued a statement that:
“According to our current information, the sports event is organised by the Government of the Russian Federation and the All-Russian Sports federation of Deaf Sport (OSFSG). The sports organisation is not a member of the ICSD. According to the sports federation, the word “Deaflympics” will not be used officially at the event.
The ICSD will not give any form of permission for the use of the word ‘Deaflympics’ and will closely monitor the organisation of the Russian Summer Games of Deaf Athletes “We are Together” and if necessary, take action and take any necessary steps against any possible unlawful use of the word “Deaflympics”.
The statement finished by explaining their actions towards Rebrov: “Mr. Dmitry Rebrov has agreed to refrain from promoting and organising the Summer Games of Deaf Athletes “We are Together Sport”.
Once again, people are feeling that Rebrov brings the ICSD and the Deaflympics into disrepute, and infuriated Deaf people have commented on this direct to ICSD, that stronger action should be taken by the ICSD Board. Indeed how on earth are they going to ‘closely monitor‘ what’s going on in Russia ?
“Imagine if the well known Deaf sports historian did not post (the story) on social media it would have made things worse for ICSD. Why didn’t the ICSD CEO inform ICSD about the alternative Deaflympics in the first place. It sounds very strange and awkward.” Donal Desmond
“While Russian athletes are banned from competing in most international sport, due to multiple state sponsored doping and their highly illegal invasion of Ukraine, ICSD should not be employing a Russian! He has been guilty of audiogram fraud. This undermines ICSD’s efforts to build a good reputation”John Neilson
Of course, Miguel Alejandro and others are wondering “why all the fuss” when we should be promoting and putting Deaf athletes first. But this is seen as ignorant and the lack of concern for the unprofessionalism and disregard shown by Rebrov continues to go unchecked.
The lukewarm reactions by non-Western nations to Russian doping, audiogram frauds, imposter athletes and ICSDs continuance to employ a Russian to oversee Deaf sport and to appoint Russians as Technical Directors etc reflects the geopolitical attitude towards the West that we see in mainstream society and such sentiments are no different in the global Deaf community. Perhaps that explains why Rebrov still has a job and why, as far as we know, the IOC has not yet restored it’s funding and full support to ICSD.
The court sentenced the ex-head of VOG Rukhledev to 7 years in prison for a multi-million dollar embezzlement
The Khamovniki Court of Moscow today, March 22, 2023, sentenced the former president of the All-Russian Society of the Deaf (VOG) Valery Rukhledev to 7 years in a penal colony in the case of multimillion-dollar embezzlement of the organization’s funds.
According to TASS, “the court decided to find Rukhledev guilty and sentence him to 7 years in a penal colony,” the judge announced the decision.
In addition, the court announced the verdict for other defendants. Thus, the former VOG lawyer Yevgeny Novoseltsev was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison, and the court appointed Tatyana Zembatova, head of the finance department, 4.5 years in a penal colony.
According to media reports, a criminal case on the theft of more than 300 million roubles in the All-Russian Society of the Deaf was initiated in 2018 under the article fraud on an especially large scale, it was then that the investigation detained Novoselets, who also headed the VOG subsidiary. Later, the then president of the VOG, Rukhledev, Zembatova, and legal assistant Irina Rudenko were detained. The Rudenko case was separated into a separate proceeding and considered in a special order, since she repented and fully admitted her guilt.
Rukhledev was also President of the ICSD (International Deaf Sport for the Deaf) he was elected in 2013 and then removed after he was placed under house arrest in 2018.