FIDE in Meltdown Mode?
What if WADA is just the Beginning?
If WADA gets its way — and it is looking very much like that — then a devastating political-tsunami will wipe out Russian sport for the next 4 years.
Not only will Russian athletes not be able to participate under the Russian flag at world meets, but Russia will be prevented from organizing any world class sporting event.
All will be officially decided in early December (the 9th), but no doubt the political decision has already been taken. Thomas Bach (President of the IOC) has his hands tied and is impotent to change anything. Vladimir Putin has run out of aces and can only shrug his shoulders. It is the Russian athletes and the Russian sports federations who will pay the price.
How might this affect FIDE?
FIDE is a member of the IOC and will have to respect any and every punitive, anti-Russia measures that follow the December meeting of the IOC with regards to the WADA recommendations.
- FIDE is headed by a close associate of Putin and therefore a natural target for hostile political forces.
- FIDE organizes most of its important championships inside Russia because FIDE has few, if any, alternative western sponsorship options
- FIDE has become increasingly dependent on Russian money, most of it directly linked to Kremlin sources, associates and/or political agendas
Australian journalist Grandmaster Ian Rogers was the first to ask the question. Almost immediately afterwards, the President of the Russian Chess Federation – Andrey Filatov – issued a hastily written statement on various social media sites calling for calm, saying that the Russian Chess Federation intends to honor its committments to organize FIDE events planned for the coming year.
Then today FIDE nervously issued a similar statement on its official site, pointing out that the WADA recommendations (assuming they would be implemented) might not adversely affect FIDE’s plans in 2020.
But nobody really knows for certain what the final draft of the IOC/WADA meeting in December will say. And this is before we even begin to ask about the Russian players! Will they be barred?
But the real problem:What comes next?
The intended WADA recommendations are supposed to be in effect for the next 4 years. Even if FIDE’s committments in Russia during 2020 are allowed to go ahead, FIDE will NOT be able to organize any world class event inside of Russia in 2021,2022 and 2023. Nor will any Russian chess player be allowed to participate.
To make things worse, as WADA’s recommendations are obviously politically inspired by enemies of Russia, it is VERY likely that FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich will be put on the US sanctions list sometime in the next 12 months, virtually forcing his withdrawal from the FIDE presidency, as was the case with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
And that would be a sad day for FIDE.
Will Makro get the last laugh? And if so, is he already planning to run in 2022 for the FIDE Presidency?