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WAF and EAF - "democratic" organizations? # Armwrestling #

We can not allow personal ambitions threaten the existence of our organization. ()

Dear friends, athletes, Directorate EAF,

In 2013, was founded IAFD (International Armwrestling Federation for Disabled) - an international organization dedicated exclusively to armwrestling for disabled. This organization was founded by the group of enthusiasts - representatives of national armwrestling federations-WAF members on the initiative of Alexander Filimonov, President of the Russian Armwrestling Federation. The mission of the Federation was the inclusion of Disabled armwrestling in the Paralympic Movement. The need to establish the Federation arose because, in the light of the Paralympic rules and regulations, disabled sport was incompatible with the common rules and standards of the competition for healthy athletes. Besides, as we all know, armwrestling for the disabled in WAF was not given enough time and attention in recent years. There were no clear standards and classification of athletes with disabilities, there were no specific referee rules, adapted for disabled sports. Blind fought athletes with musculoskeletal disabilities, wheelchair were wrestling with normal at the lower tables (championships in Brazil and Poland) - all tournaments under the auspices of the WAF did not correspond to any international standards, not to mention the standards of the Paralympic Movement.

That is why the heads of the concerned federations supported the initiative to create a new organization associated with WAF (World Congress 2014 in Lithuania).

In 2013 IAFD sent an application for membership in the International Paralympic Committee. In response it has received detailed instructions on the necessary steps for fulfilling the requirements. The first and foremost requirement of Paralympic Committee was the introduction of a clear classification of athletes according to the Committee rules. This task was accomplished by IAFD, what took almost a year of hard work. The task was not an easy one. For standardization and accuracy of documents the knowledge of the Paralympic Committee experts was needed. IAFD for their own funds found such professionals and immediately started to develop a classification adapted for the armwrestling. Guzel Idrisova - an official Paralympic Committee qualifier in Russia - has become a major developer of classification. Thanks to the efforts of this lady, we have a unique document which meets all the requirements of the Paralympic Committee. There was the most important thing left to do - check out these standards in practice, make the appropriate report and pass it to the Paralympic Committee.

In 2014, after WAF Congress has supported IAFD by a majority vote, the First World Championship for the Disabled was held in compliance with Paralympic classification. The event was highly appreciated by both the disabled athletes and Paralympic Committee professionals. Just a few days after the end of the Championship, IAFD was invited to the World Games for the Disabled Sports under IWAS (International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation), which will be held in September 2015 in Sochi. Despite the fact that the invitation to the Championship has been sent to all, including the WAF management, WAF leadership has not found time to attend this event.

Once IAFD received an invitation to the World Games, which was announced to the entire community, was made an appeal to the WAF in order to shift the terms of the WAF World Championship for the Disabled, as the World Games will be held at the same time as the World Championship in Malaysia. In response - 3 months silence, after which there was something that just shocked me personally and other colleagues who gave to armwrestling over 15 years of their lives.

Two men standing at the helm of WAF, apparently decided to dispel our illusions that the WAF - democratic organization and heads of national federations are authorized to participate in making any decisions at the Congress. We all started to receive e-mails from the WAF Secretary, where we just put on notice about when and what we have to do. Today nobody cares about our opinion. WAF President and secretary launched a campaign of the World Games sabotage, undermining the reputation of the members of the Directorate. WAF President and Secretary loudly declared WAF recognition by Paralympic Committee just as their personal victory. Answer the question whether we have received this recognition without the great work conducted by IAFD team? What exactly have WAF President and the Secretary done for this recognition? Who developed classifiers ARM 1, ARM 2, ARM 3, ARM 4 for the disabled according to which WAF is going to conduct World Armwrestling Championship in Malaysia? We could enjoy this recognition together, if, immediately after its announcement, WAF secretary would not declare that  WAF terminated its cooperation with IAFD. WAF terminates its cooperation with athletes with disabilities? WAF terminates its cooperation with Alexander Filimonov, Igor Mazurenko, Guzel Idrisova and thousands of athletes with disabilities who believed in their Olympic dream? Who gave these two people this right? Congress? Then what do their titles on business cards mean, if the decisions of the Congress have no meaning for them? The last accord for me was the news that during Asian Championship those two gentlemen are going to use their own score-keeping software instead of the authorized program to which I dedicated 8 years and granted free of charge access to WAF.

Armwrestling today, thanks to the efforts of athletes, coaches, national federations, is closer than ever to achieving his long-term goals. We can not allow personal ambitions threaten the existence of our organization. All issues should be resolved in a democratic way at the Congress. Therefore, I support the proposal of Alexander Filimonov to bring to the Congress the following questions:

1. To dismiss the EAF president Assen Hadjitodorov (Bulgaria) valid from 31 May 2015 until the EAF Congress 2016.

2. To dismiss from his position EAF General Secretary Mircea Simionescu-Simicel (Romania) valid from May 31, 2015 until the EAF Congress 2016.

3. Appoint EAF Acting President Alexander Filimonov (Russia) valid from May 31, 2015 until the EAF Congress 2016.

4. Appoint Marian Capla (Slovakia) EAF Acting Secretary General and EAF Treasurer valid from 31 May 2015 until the Congress EAF 2016.

5. To consider all orders of Assen Hadjitodorov (Bulgaria) and Mircea Simionescu-Simicel (Romania) illegitimate valid from May 31, 2015.

I think that EAF Directorate can not follow the bad practices of the current leadership and these issues should be brought to the Congress of the European Federation. Otherwise, Federation is put at risk of losing the respect of the sporting community and trust of Paralympic Committee.


Igor Mazurenko

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