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.