Caxias 2022 Responds to Covid-19 Concerns

Following concerns ICSD members, Caxias 2022 Organising Committee have issued provisional plans for safeguarding Deaflympic athletes against the Coronavirus.

International news sources have been highlighting the political stance of Brazilian President Bolsonaro and his unconventional attitudes towards tacking Covid-19, this has raised concerns from ICSD members that the Caxias 2022 organisers will not be able to provide adequate Covid security for athletes and officials attending next year’s 24th Summer Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul in Southern Brazil.

Local Organising Committee CEO Richard Douglas Ewald and his team have issued health safety protocols for participants in an attempt to reassure people that it will be safe to attend the games without getting infected. Because of the constant change in the impact of the virus, the protocols are issued as if ‘the competition would be today’ and a final decision on protocol will be issued on 20th March 2022.

-ICSD

What are the Safeguards?

The protocols currently in place state that ten days before departure, Chef de Missions must send a list of all participants who have been vaccinated at least 2 weeks before departure and everyone must have proof of negative PCR results 72 hours prior to departure.

Travel instructions direct teams to travel to a regional airport Porto Alegre Salgado Filho International Airport where everyone will have to test negative on a Rapid Antigen test before receiving a Welcome Pack and transportation to the Accreditation centre in Caxias do Sul.

Anyone who tests positive in the Rapid Antigen test or has been unable to get PCR tested before travel (or claim to have lost proof of tests in transit) will, at their own expense, have to take a PCR test upon arrival at the airport and be held in isolation until the result is issued. If they test negative, they can travel on to Caxias. Anyone testing positive will be referred to hospital for treatment following Brazilian medical protocols.

Travellers without a valid vaccination Certificate will be quarantined for 5 days in the ‘final destination city’ and then they will have to produce a negative PCR test at the end of isolation otherwise they will be referred to hospital for treatment.

There are further special rules for people originating or passing through South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe. (No details were given in the protocol) it can be reasonably assumed this may related to the Omicron variant.

Will this information satisfy Chef de Missions?

Chef de Missions, Medical and security officers will now examine the content of the protocol and determine whether this gives them reassurance that their athletes and officials will be Covid secure.

One possible question that will need to be answered will be the concern of cross contamination between athletes of different nations who are likely to board planes taking the domestic route to the local airport and then how are they going to ensure that there is further protections from those athletes/officials who will have been unvaccinated whilst everyone is waiting in the arrivals terminal, for example, to collect personal belongings at the luggage carousel and then in the airport when waiting to be tested.

Proposed location of Deaflympic Square – Caxias (picture from caxias.rs.gov.br )

There is a second Travel Package communication declaring that five days before the Opening Ceremony special buses will be laid on to transport accredited persons from their hotels to a central transit and information point which has been named Deaflympic Square which will be accessible by accredited persons for central information and also serve as a transport exchange hub between the sports venues.

There is no further information explaining how athletes and officials will be safeguarded against infections by the local population. The Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games protocols strictly forbade any ‘tourism’, sightseeing or shopping by athletes in order to protect their health. There was no ‘hanging around’ after their events had concluded as people travelled home immediately afterwards. Reading the Travel Package clearly shows that athletes will be housed in local hotels and they will be have access to a sightseeing and shopping app which suggests that there are currently no plans to further isolate anyone once they have tested negative on arrival at the local airport.

Update on ICSD Court Case

As promised we are keeping you updated as much as possible with the developments of the court case brought by Ms Rebecca Adam concerning the ICSD Extraordinary Congress.

We understand that at the time of going to press the court case scheduled for tomorrow 22nd December has been postponed until January 28th 2022.

Irena Farinacci , volunteer administration support for the ICSD Board said that they were not sure of the reason for the change of dates and it was unexpected.

Switzerland at Christmas : WallpaperAccess.

We will keep in touch with Irena and updated you as soon as we have something to share.

If you are new to this topic you can catch up here.

ICSD Extraordinary Congress to be Challenged in Court

ICSD Extra Ordinary Congress actions and decisions should be null and void according to Rebecca Adam and Marijo Lusic

In a communication released yesterday by the ICSD Secretariat, it was announced that Rebecca Adam is taking ICSD to court in Lausanne, Switzerland on 22 December to argue that decisions and actions taken at the 48th ICSD Extraordinary Congress are null and void.

Details of the challenge available here

The case is being heard in a Swiss court because ICSD is registered in that country.

ICSD are preparing their defence with guidance from their Legal Commission and a local attorney.

We will bring you updates on this story as they unfold.

‘ICSD Extraordinary Congress did not meet IOC Universal Governance Standards’ say ICSD Board.

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.

MEDIA STATEMENT
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

For more information, please email office.deafsports@gmail.com

Nations Receive Invites to the 24th Summer Deaflympics.

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.

Official logo 24th Summer Deaflympics

There is an official website for the games https://www.deaflympics2021.com

Questions to be asked

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.

Key Points from the ICSD Extraordinary Congress in Lausanne Switzerland.

The information we have received has come from a variety of delegate sources and cross referencing between different national delegates gives us confidence that what we are sharing with you has happened this weekend in Lausanne.

Hotel Alpha Palmiers, Lausanne, Switzerland. venue of the ICSD Extraordinary Congress

Just as Congress weekend was about to get underway the world was alerted to the new highly transmissible variant of Covid-19 from the South African region. Because of this, Swiss border control placed a 10-day quarantine on any visitors from Belgium, Southern African region nations and elsewhere that deemed risky.

SUNDAY 28th November, Lausanne, DAY 1. 

  • ICSD has116 member countries registered but approx. 55 are fully paid up and allowed to vote.
  • After 2 hours of debate, Congress finally agreed to accept Kasper Bergmann as Congress Moderator.
  • A motion to include a vote for DIHF (International Deaf Ice-Hockey) as an Associate member did not get approval.
  • A final roll call confirmed the attendance to 53 delegates (3 or 4 accessing remotely), so the voting majority is set at 27 votes. (Exact numbers will be confirmed by ICSD minutes)
  • Congress voted to change the right to amend the agenda at any time during Congress
  • Financial Audits of Accounts for 2013-2019 were approved
  • The remainder of the day was spent on the Deaf Sport Reform debate. In summary, delegates voted in favour of:
  • Associate members gaining fundamental voting rights, equal as national members.
  • ICSD Board would be reduced or enlarged in size by including an athlete representative.
  • Regional Confederation representatives to get one vote each on the ICSD board

MONDAY  29th November, Lausanne, DAY 2. 

The day’s debates were on the current state of ICSD governance and the hosting of the 2022 Summer Deaflympics.

  • Over the past two years, ICSD members and followers of Deaf sport have been confused over who is leading the ICSD, is it EB5 – the elected Board members or the RCs who broke away with ICSD Exec Officer Dmitry Rebrov.
  • Both groups (EB5 and RCs) were given the opportunity to make statements to the floor and then a vote was taken that accept the Extraordinary Congress as legal.
  • After further afternoon discussions on the legitimacy of the ICSD leadership, Congress voted to approve the establishment of an Investigation task force to look into the facts of the whole situation since 2019 and report its findings to the next Congress.
  • It has been confirmed that Caxias is now the preferred host for the Summer Deaflympics 2022, this decision was made by the Brazil Deaf Sports Federation and accepted by Congress.
  • There appear to be plans in place for Summer Deaflympics 2025 in Japan and Winter Deaflympics 2027 in Korea, Taiwan also plans to host the 2027 Youth Games.
  • The final act was the election of an Board to work with limited powers to oversee the Deaflympics, organise Congress and have oversight of the Investigation task force until 2022 when Congress is usually held just before the Opening Ceremony of the Summer Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil 1-14th May:
  • President – Gustavo Perazzolo
  • Vice President World Sport – Yutaka Osugi
  • Vice President Youth – David Lanesman
  • Members at Large – Yakup Khitir, Kristian Lantto, Adam Kosa and Alexandra Polivanchuk

DIBF Update on WADA Compliance

Deaf International Basketball Federation share the latest update on their work to become compliant. with WADA ‘Clean Sport’ code

It’s a busy time for Deaf Martial Arts!

Both the Deaf Karate and Taekwondo World Championships are taking place alongside each other in Tehran, Iran.

Details of schedules, competitors and competitions can be found on their websites.

We must make a caution, that our browser indicates that both websites are not secure, so visiting will be at your own risk.

Also, the 1st World Deaf Judo Championships took place last month in Versailles, France. This was also a shared-venue completion, held along side the 1st CISM championships.

CISM ( International Council of Military Sports) See video clip at foot of page.

Two Big Ears are very pleased to see International Deaf Sports organisations working closer to their International Federations and being included with parallel events – makes good use of resources and creates opportunties to raise the profile of Deaf athletes.

deafkarate.com

ICSD Blame Poland Organising Committee for Doping Omission

Last night, ICSD Interim President pointed the finger of blame at the Polish Organising Committee for lack of anti-doping tests at Swimming World Championships.

Yesterday we reported on the concerns from Christof Niklaus, a technical representative at the 1st World Deaf Short Course Swimming Championships that there are no arrangements in place to test swimmers to ensure there are no doping violations.

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 Niklaus asked ICSD to explain why there have been no anti-doping test in place. (photo by Christof Niklaus)

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.

Special Video Report ‘ICSD Leadership and Deaflympics’

Yesterday H3 World TV released a video report to try and explain why ICSD leadership is split into to camps.

Video is shared here with expressed permission from H3.