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 International Committee of Sport for the Deaf is violating its own Code of Ethics by continuing to employ staff contrary to item 51.57 of the ICSD Code of Ethics.
According to the ICSD Code of Ethics:
51.57 An employee at the ICSD Secretariat must not be an active athlete or hold a governing position within an ICSD Member.
And according to the ICSD Constitution:
11.3 The Chief Executive Officer leads the Secretariat and manages the day-to-day activities of ICSD. She/he represents ICSD and the Executive Board in all day-to-day business affairs and in all proceedings and negotiations of all types against authorities and courts.
The Current CEO is Dmitry Rebrov who has been in post now for some time despite severed breaches of the ICSD Code of Ethics especially clause 12.17 by fraudulently falsifying an athlete’s audiograms and having been found guilty by a court of law.
The Current code of Ethics were approved by ICSD members at the 48th Extraordinary Congress on 29th November 2021.
On August 23rd 2022, Rebrov was elected President of OSFSG LLC the All-Russian Sports Federation of Sports for the Deaf. Whilst remaining in post as ICSD CEO, he is violating code 51.57. See website
The newly appointed President Adam Kosa has proudly declared that the ICSD is now getting its affairs in order to comply with IOC requirements for improved governance. Perhaps now is the time for him to review his staffing situation before tries to convince the IOC?
Whilst he is doing that, he should also remind himself of ICSD Code of Ethics 51.50 and ensure that both himself and Vice President of World Sport Yutaka Osugi no longer hold governance positions in other ICSD member organisations.
Two Big Ears examines what’s inside the in-tray of the new leadership at ICSD and what are members expecting to happen.
The recent ICSD Congress in September 2022 elected a new governing board which is now led by President, Adam Kosa (Hungary) & Vice President World Sports, Yutaka Osugi (Japan).
Members have banked on Kosa’s relevant experience as a Deaflympian, Member of the European Parliament and board member of the Hungarian Paralympic Committee to bring a steady, diplomatic and stable leadership to ICSD which has endured almost 10 years of unsteadiness, tactlessness and unpredictability.
There is an expectation that Kosa and Osugi will request an opportunity to meet with the International Paralympic Committee and discuss opportunties for positive partnerships and a closer relationship. Unlike the previous elected incumbent Rukhledev whose opinion was to stay away from the IPC and expect them to come running to his door.
We are already witnessing signs of professionalism and orderliness coming from the Secretariat, issuing notices for elections to the various Commissions (Anti-Doping, Audiology, Legal, Sports and Women in Sport). Information about the opening hours of business and best times for communications.
They have written decisive and timely reminders to International Deaf Sports Federations that due to the war in Ukraine, Belarusian athletes, coaches and managers are not permitted to compete in ICSD sanctioned events, Deaflympics and World Championships. It would appear that some organisers have still not understood the ‘news’ and have needed to be told twice.
Perhaps Kosa and Osugi can explain why they have decided to hold on to Dmitry Rebrov as CEO despite being guilty of one of the worst acts of Deaf sport criminality; the falsification of athletes audiograms in order to get them banned from European competitions.
There is also a high expectation that the 2025 Summer Deaflympics will benefit from the legacy of hosting Olympic/Paralympics in 2020 and the leadership of Osugi who has been a prominent leader in Japanese Deaf sport for two decades. Will Kosa and his team ensure that the games have a solid backing by government ministries, sound financials and that nothing is left to the last minute – which has been the norm by ICSD with very few exceptions. The Games will also give ICSD the opportunity to celebrate the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the Deaflympic Games in 2024.
That’s all for the short term, but what is Kosa’s vision for the long term? Perhaps you, our Big Ears readers might like to make comments below?
National Deaf Sports federations who have been invited to participate will now decide whether or not to send athletes and teams to the next Summer Deaflympics in Brazil.
Immediately after the ICSD Extraordinary Congress in Switzerland last week, The ICSD officially invited all its member nations to take part in the 24th Summer Deaflympics from 1-15 May 2022 in Caxias do Sul, Brazil.
There are 21 sports currently listed on the programme and ICSD President Gustavo Perazzolo writes ‘We look forward to having you come down..’ Perazzolo himself is a former Brazilian Deaflympian in volleyball and cycling.
There are questions now facing National Deaf Sports Federations as they decide whether or not to participate in this event. Australia has already had to withdraw due to its government regulations on international travel which are already extended into 2022.
Travel restrictions will make it very expensive if athletes and their officials have to isolate at their own expense on return to their home countries. The outbreak of the new Omicron variant is set to have a severe impact on travel that could last well into 2022.
The state of Rio Grande do Sul does not have its own international airport and athletes will have to use internal flights to reach the local airport further increasing the risk of contamination by the virus and potentially the more transmittable Omicron.
Brazil currently has the second highest number of national recorded deaths due to Covid-19 and questions are being asked if the true number of deaths and cases are being recorded, the country currently at 615,570 deaths and 22.1 million cases nationally. President Jair Bolsonaro has told Brazilians to ‘stop whining‘ and has continued to downplay the virus. Brazil’s Supreme Court has opened an inquiry into claims made by Bolsonaro that Covid-19 vaccines may increase the chance of contracting Aids. One positive note to make in all of this is that the host state has one of the lowest number of deaths and cases so far in Brazil.
The official games website has a page showing some official Travel Insurance available, but neither that nor health insurance will give immunity to a virus – only a vaccine may do that.
For months now, national federation representatives have been asking the Deaflympic organisers to show that they are making arrangements to protect athletes from the virus as well as ensuring that the event will also have stringent Anti-doping checks and Audiogram checks in place.
Concerns about anti-doping and audiogram checks are long-standing as the CEO of ICSD, Dmitry Rebrov is Russian and has been found guilty by his country’s legal system of falsifying audiograms and ICSD have not followed the IOC and IPC in restricting how Russia can compete due to RUSADAs poor history of doping scandals. Last month’s World Short Course Swimming Championships had no in-competition anti-doping tests in place. When ICSD President Perazzolo was questioned about the lack of anti-doping tests he blamed the Polish organising committee and did not take responsibility for ICSD’s role in event planning oversight.
In recent weeks, CSD Head of Technical Commission, Martin Bogard has made presentations to his colleagues in the commission and to delegates at the Extraordinary Congress last week. We understand from comments being made by congress delegates that some of the sports sites may not be up to international standards which, if the claims are true, would make it difficult to validate any new Deaflympic Records set in the sports affected.
The IOC has continued to with hold its funding to ICSD in the wake of embezzlement scandals involving a former ICSD President and the umbrella organisation did not sanction the 2019 Winter Deaflympics and it remains to be seen what they will do for Caxias do Sul.
WADA have been made aware of the situation and the concerns that ICSD and Russia may have colluded to avoid the testing.
At last nights technical meeting, Christof asked Gustavo, the ICSD Interim President if he could explain why there was no anti-doping at the championships to which he replied to email the ICSD office.
Christof repeated his question “because he is the ICSD representative at these championships and therefore should answer my question.“
In his second reply, Gustavo blamed the Poland Organising Committee for not organising anti-doping tests.
Christof considers Gustavo’s reply to show that he is “A very poor president, not fit for office.”
We understand that all Deaf World Championship organising committees are obliged to follow all regulations for hosting sports events if they wish to be sanctioned by the ICSD. In the process, ICSD should have appointed its Technical Director of swimming to work closely with the Organising Committee to ensure that arrangements were in place to meet WADA regulations. Therefore ICSD cannot deflect the blame on the Organising Committee, it must also accept that it is also responsible and if necessary withdrawing its stamp of approval to a non-compliant event.
The ICSD Chief Executive Dmitry Rebrov continues to hold the office of Secretary General of the All-Russian Sports Federation of Deaf Sport. He would also be responsible, on behalf of the ICSD Board, for overseeing the work of the Technical Commission to ensure that the WADA code of practice is implemented. This blatant conflict of interest does nothing to safeguard the protection of clean athletes especially when Rebrov has also been found guilty in a Russian court of falsifying audiograms.
After Valery Rukhledev was removed from office, the ICSD Board attempted to deal with the misdemeanours and subordination of Rebrov which would have had a part to play in the leadership split that we now have in the organisation.
Observers at the World Deaf Short Course Swimming Championships are wondering why the event organisers have not arranged anti-doping testing for the swimmers whilst also declaring the IDBF of non-compliance.
Christof Niklaus, former ICSD Technical Director for Football has been observing events at the 1st World Deaf Short Course Swimming Championships taking place in Poland this week and he has reported his concerns to WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) because there have been no doping tests.
Christof is at the event as GB’s technical officer supporting swimmer Nathan Young. His complaint comes as the ICSD has released a statement this week declaring DIBF (Deaf International Basketball Federation) non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. This means that players and officials of the DIBF are not allowed to hold office or take part in competitions (regional and international) until they make arrangement to meet WADA requirements.
What is worrying Christof is that the Russian swimmers are ‘dominating in all events with no testing to provide confidence in their performances’
The question is how ICSD can remain compliant to the WADA code if it is allowing a sanctioned event to take place without doping testing. ICSD’s lack of control and compliance is due to its lack of support to Deaf sport federations with ‘historical under-resourcing and under-education.’
A WADA representative has quickly responded to Christof by email ‘we are fully committed to supporting DIBF, and ICSD, in making sure that the protection of clean deaf athletes is safeguarded, and strengthen if needed, at all times.’
Christof is picking up ‘word here in Poland of collusion between ICSD and Russia, to avoid having the Russian team be the subject of anti-doping tests.’ He has asked WADA to pass this information on to its own Intelligence & Investigations team. There remains a serious conflict of interest as the ICSD Executive Officer Dmitry Rebrov also remains Secretary General of the All-Russian Sports Federation of Deaf Sport.
WADA sent another reply to this news ‘Your email has been taken very seriously and already been forwarded to the relevant departments of WADA for follow up. We are also following up very closely the situation at DIBF which has been provided all the necessary support over the past few months.’
Christof’s role in Poland is to function as official support and representative for GB’s only entrant Nathan Young who has been sharing his frustrations that there is still a lack of performance funding for Deaflympic athletes in the UK and blames the DCMS, Sport England and UK Sport for ignoring them.
Members of the Deaflympic movement are fully aware that their former president Valery Rukhledev (Valery) has been under house arrest since 2018 for embezzlement of funds at VOG. What has not been told until now is how this could impact in ICSD.
We reported here on Two Big ears in December 2014 that ICSD CEO Dimity Rebrov was found guilty of audiogram fraud whilst working for the Russian Deaflympic Committee. This was not an isolated incident as we will now share information reported by a Russian news agency Interlocutor.ru
In 2011, Russian Deaflympians and their coaches complained to their Ministry of Culture that the Russian Deaflympic Committee was demanding 10% of their Deaflympic medal winnings awarded from the state. 90% of the medals winners have refused to get involved with the ‘almighty extortionist‘ but the rest ‘have had their careers mercilessly ruined’.
As far as the Ministry of Sport are concerned the 10% donations are to help the development of other Russian athletes. But Interlocutor cites another new source “Novaya Gazeta” that ‘Rukhledev and the SKR (Russian Deaflympic Committee) earned over 1.8 million Euros from medals won at the 2009 Taipei Deaflympics and the Deaflympians and their coaches were complaining that no funds were being passed down to support athletes.
But all this is not the reason for Valery being placed under house-arrest.
So, Why is Valery Rukhledev under house arrest?
In January 2018, a criminal investigation was opened against Valery and four others for the embezzlement of 320 million roubles (£3.1m, US$4.05m, 3.4m Euro) belonging to the All-Russian Society of the Deaf (VOG). Valery co-defendants are a former lawyer of VOG and the former head of Finance at VOG. A fourth person was imprisoned for 3.5 years as her trial revealed that as a close friend and assistant of the VOG lawyer ‘between 2011 and 2014, she created and sought out controlled legal entities as fictitious counterparties of VOG LLC and its subsidiaries and managed their bank accounts, took actions to cash out founds obtained as a result of theft, took measures to conceal the crimes.’
But Where did this all start for Valery?
Natalia Metlina, a journalist and TV and radio presenter, Moscow City Duma (Council) Deputy and author of the book “My Mafia” wrote that Valery became the head of VOG in 2003 with the support of Caucasian criminal groups, whose money was used to bribe the heads of VOG regional branches 500,000 roubles each to approve the election of Valery.
Once he was in power, Metlina writes, that he surrounded himself with hearing assistants and rewrote the organisation’s charter in such a way that he became de facto owner. The criminal investigation has evidence to show that Valery became ‘the sole executive body of the company… having the right to dispose of the property of VOG entrusted to him by virtue of his position and make transactions on behalf of the company without additional approval’.
What would a Mafia stand to gain from putting money into Valery’s election campaign?
In 1926, VOG was created by the state to support Deaf people, it allocated buildings and factories. Deaf people had their own houses of culture, sanatoriums, rest houses and much more. VOG owned hundreds of buildings and plots of land throughout Russia. All this could be very useful to a Mafia. As well, in the 1990s, the state provided VOG with significant benefits on the importation of goods from abroad and it appears that the mafia used this to smuggle vodka, cigarettes and petrol into the country.
The investigation has been told that Valery was involved in a worked-out scheme of real estate, the buildings belonging to VOG throughout Russia were sold at bargain prices to the ‘right people’ and the difference between the price on documents and the real sale price was paid to Valery in cash. Those premises that could be rented out earned them another income.
The scheme also scammed state benefits. False names ‘dead souls‘ were used to claim state funds to pay for the fictitious use of sign language interpreters as well as organising fake jobs and selling equipment that should have been given to disabled people. grants given to renovate buildings also went into the ‘pockets of the president’s team’.
Amongst the evidence is one example of where VOG owned 100% shares in a company. The entire share were sold to another company for 500,000 roubles and then two months later the ownership of the company building was transferred over. It turns out that the building was worth 40 million roubles ‘There are dozens of examples throughout Russia’ According to another source in the report, it is calculated that over the 15 years under Valery’s management, VOG started out with 90 enterprises and this was reduced to 6. VOG still owns 191 buildings and 1 million hectares of land.
How much is Valery Rukhledev accused of making from all this?
The investigation suggest that Valery owns assets in Switzerland and the USA. His personal estate in Russia is estimated at half a billion roubles and twice as much again is in the names of other members of his family. In 2018, the Tverskoy Court of Moscow ruled to seize property belonging to his wife, as well as accounts, land plots and nine other properties that were in shared ownership.
Valery was eventually arrested when he tried to sell the central office of VOG for 1 billion roubles.
Rukhledev is still trying to hold on to power at VOG
Then Valery was placed under house-arrest in 2018, he was immediately replaced by Stanislav Ivanov as interim president. But despite the conditions of his arrest, on 3rd January 2018, Valery was able to issue a decree which cancelled Ivanov’s appointment and he was replaced by Alexander Kachergis, who according to reports is a protégé of Valery. It has been implied that the wording on the VOG website suggests that Kachergis is acting on the orders of Valery.
This is not the only time that Valery had violated his conditions and the investigators petitioned the Tversky Court to put him in a pre-trial detention centre because under secrecy he had arranged for visitors to meet him in his apartments and he still had access to the Internet and video-relay communications. So, for that, Valery spent some time in a detention centre cell before being released back under house-arrest where he will remain until 28 November 2020 with a ban on certain actions imposed by the court.
The next Congress of VOG will be held on the 12-14 November 2020. there are concerns that if Kachergis remains in position after the congress, then VOG will continue to remain as a pocket filling trough for the usurped power and thief unless the 76 regional branches and 878 local ones can find it amongst themselves to fight against this and stop the VOG being the personal wallet of Valery and be transferred back into an organisation designed to protect the interests of hundreds and thousands of Russian deaf people.
Does the shadow of Valery Rukhledev still hand over ICSD?
Having absorbed the magnitude of this information, members of ICSD might not help but wonder at the similarities they find in the ICSD where the Board has recently tried to remove Rebrov who was appointed by Valery. Looking further back, people might also wonder if similar methods of using stuffed envelopes in Valery’s 2003 VOG election might also have been used again in 2013 when he replaced Craig Crowley for the presidency of ICSD.
As we know, the VOG investigation suggests that Valery owns property in Switzerland and the ICSD (under the direction of Valery and Rebrov) were quick to move its assets to Geneva where ICSD uses Swiss law to govern its financial operations.
This week, ICSD have announced its intentions to hold an Extraordinary Congress in 2021. If members think that by voting in a new Board, they will win the support of the IOC and have their funding reinstated, they may need to reconsider.
They should also think about protecting ICSD from any potential criminal interference from within and outside itself by removing its Secretariat away from Geneva and officially disassociate itself from Russian management.
Life for Deaf and hearing people has changed this year, the Coronavirus has taken away our plans and forced us to rethink what we are going to do in the future. One thing for sure is that we cannot go back to the way things were before, we have to change – many people are afraid of change, but change, we must.
With the exception of Belarus, sport across the globe as been cancelled or postponed. On the whole, people who play sport are optimists. A few weeks ago, very few events were cancelled, preferring to postpone and play again as soon as possible. But now, we have seen how dangerous Covid-19 is and governments and international sports federations are having a rethink. It is looking increasingly likely that no international sports events will take place in 2020.
This week, Yoshiro Mori, the former prime minister of Japan and now president of the Tokyo Olympic Committee has suggested that if a vaccine is not ready for the Olympics in 2021, then the event should be cancelled.
Yoshiro Mori (Source: daily Mail)
Argentina, France, Ghana and Holland have cancelled their 2019/2020 Soccer Championships and the UK Premier League is thinking about it. France’s policies also put the postponement of the Tour de France in jeopardy, the UCI meets this week. The Ryder Cup could be postponed to 2021 and played without spectators.
What should Deaf sport do?
Back in March, many organisers of international Deaf sports events were optimistic and postponed events to late summer or later in 2020, but is this possible? The World Deaf Golf Championships of 2020 has been postponed, new dates to be discussed. ICSD wants to carry on and go to Brazil for the Deaflympics in 2021.
Can we honestly expect Brazil to host a Deaflympics in 2021? There is no strategy from ICSD, no funding in place. The Brazilian President has put his people at risk, calling Covi-19 a “measly cold”.
ICSD is in a very weak position internationally with the IOC and IPC. When the ICSD president was placed under house arrest in 2018, all funding taps from the IOC to ICSD were turned off. Even now after two interim presidents have been appointed, the funds are still withdrawn.
Russia has been banned from international sport, yet ICSD have stood by its Executive Director Dimitry Rebrov and continued to allow the Russian to run its affairs despite the fact that he has previously been found guilty of falsifying audiograms. Despite all of this, ICSD carries on as normal with no audited accounts, so IOC continues to withhold funds.
The IOC has asked ICSD to move forward and come up with Deaf Sport Reform, first developed by President Donalda Ammons and then restructured by President Crowley with a unanimous Congress approval to go ahead in 2013. Has ICSD gone to sleep, does it think it is immune from sports politics or is it just afraid of change?
International Deaf sport is on a ventilator, it may not survive.
On December 9th 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency Executive Board will meet in Paris to decide whether or not to ban Russia from the global sporting world for four years. The ban not only covers Russian athletes but also events hosted by Russia and any officials who currently sit on governing bodies of sport.
The WADA Intelligence and Investigations department has a 26-page report that accuses RUSADA (Russian Anti-Doping Agency) of removing positive samples from its database as well as deleting and/or altering other files dating back to 2015. The report also alleges that fabricated evidence was planted in the database to discredit Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory who now lives in the USA under a witness protection programme.
If the ban goes ahead on 9th December, the recommendations include:
No Russian Government officials or representatives to sit as members of boards or committees on any code-compliant organisations (such as Olympic sports, FIFA etc)
2. Russian government officials or representatives may not participate or attend and major sports events, including Youth Winter games, Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
3. Russia to be prevented from hosting any major international sports events during the four year ban
4. With draw events already planned unless it is legally or impractical to do so
5. Russian flag to be banned from all major events
6. No senior officials (President, Secretary General and CEO) of the Russian Olympic Committee or the Russian Paralympic Committee be allowed to attend any major sporting event; and
7. Russian athletes only allowed to participate if they can prove they are not implicated in any way by the non-compliance findings.
There are voices within the Deaflympic Movement who also want to see ICSD comply with this ban because they are a WADA-compliant organisation. The ICSD CEO, Dimitry Rebrov is Russian.
Russian officials have been speaking out against the WADA recommendations and it is expected that some within ICSD will also argue that Russian athletes and officials have not been involved in doping activities.
One of the reasons WADA is recommending such a ban is because of the fraudulent behaviour of Russian officials towards its own athletes and officials, fabricating evidence to try and discredit people. This blog demonstrated in April 2015 that the Russian Committee of Deaf Sport is also guilty of such behaviour, when the current ICSD CEO Dimitry Rebrov falsified the Audiogram of one of its own wrestlers Eugene Golovanov to get him banned from European competitions – this case went to court in Moscow, who found Rebrov guilty and later his appeal was overruled by the Court of Appeal. He remains guilty of conspiracy to fraud audiograms, the fundamental basis of classifying Deaflympians is their audiograms.
Dimitry Rebrov, found guilty of falsifying Audiograms
If this ban does come into effect on 9th December, it will be three days before the start of the ICSD Winter Deaflympics in Italy where ICSD Congress will be overseen by its Board and Russian CEO. It is unlikely that the Russians will be banned from this Congress or the events themselves because the ban would have come in at very short notice. But what about the next four years?
What will ICSD do next ? What decisions will ICSD members make next month?
Here are some comments from Facebook:
“ICSD really has to stand and be counted for the rest of our Deaf athletes worldwide.” Craig Crowley, ICSD President 2009 – 2013. President UK Deaf Sport.
“Sad for Russian athletes” Greg Ophel, Deaflympian, Volleyball
This afternoon, the International Paralympic Committee banned the entire Russian team from competing in next month’s Paralympic Games in Rio.
Sir Philip Craven (photo sportanddev.org)
Sir Philip Craven, IPC President said: “Tragically this situation is not about athletes cheating a system, but about a State-run system that is cheating the athletes. The doping culture that is polluting Russian sport stems from the Russian government and has now been uncovered in not one but two independent reports commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.”Full statement
Will the International Committee of Sport for the Deaf follow suit and make a decision to exclude Russian athletes from competing at the 2017 Deaflympics in Turkey next summer?
On 25th July, we commented on the need for ICSD to consider and follow actions taken by others in the IOC family. Whilst many would consider the IOC decision making not robust enough to stem doping, we feel that the IPC decision to enforce a blanket ban on the Russian team to be the right action to take.
The ICSD does not have the finances and resources in place to enforce anti-doping and therefore it is highly likely that cheating is taking place at the Deaflympics. The Russian Deaflympic officials are not shy about cheating, they have been taken to court for falsifying an audiogram of one of their wrestlers. They cannot be trusted with the task of Executive control of the ICSD and the Deaflympic Games.
As we reported on 27th April this year, the ICSD has not published the names of Deaf athletes who returned positive doping tests on its website. This is the responsibility of the Chief Executive – a Russian, most of the athletes who would be on this list are – Russian.
It is now time for the ICSD Board to take back control of the Deaflympic movement, suspend its President Valery Rukhledev and Dimitry Rebrov, its Chief Executive at the very least and restore some confidence amongst its membership.
Two Big Ears calls upon representatives of ICSD national federations to unite and demand that the ICSD Board take action. Do not allow the Russians to ignore your concerns for a second time, do not let the Russians dismiss you so easily as they did last year.