Dvorkovich comments on WADA decision
FIDE Cautiously Optimistic about 2020 Plans
As predicted, WADA earlier on Monday voted unanimously to suspend the Russian sports movement for 4 years. It was not a blanket ban, allowing for some participation of Russian athletes in certain world events, providing they have a clean drug-testing record, and do not represent Russia. That is, Russian athletes will have to play under a neutral flag.
The most damaging part of the WADA decision arguably is that no world class sporting event can be organized in Russia for the next 4 years, nor will any bid from Russia for a sporting event be considered for atleast 4 years.
This is where FIDE is particularly compromised, as in 2020 Russia is already slated to hold a number of very high profile world class FIDE tournaments, including the Candidates Tournament and the Olympiad.
(Traditionally, FIDE has relied on Russia to organize the majority of its elite events. Western sponsorship for big time chess is hard to come by. This will now have to change, and quickly. This means that WADA’s decision in the mid to long term will force FIDE to be a more competitive, transparent and open organization. Not everybody is convinced that an organization with a Russian-Oligarch president is the best way to help facilitate this transition.)
Dvorkovich believes that WADA’s decision today gives FIDE some wriggle room so that it can argue the lack of time to find alternative sponsors and/or venues prevents it from changing its plans in 2020.
Dvorkovich is probably very correct about this, but numerous powerful enemies of Russia will likely not approve of allowing this exception to happen and even more likely FIDE will become a focus of future efforts that might sabotage Dvorkovich’s leadership.
The following includes Dvorkovich’s comments to TASS earlier this afternoon:
MOSCOW, December 9. / Corr. TASS Andrei Kartashov. Chess Olympiads, Paralympics and other tournaments planned in Russia will not be postponed, but will be held as scheduled. This was announced by TASS President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Arkady Dvorkovich.
On Monday, the executive committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) unanimously decided to strip the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). This will lead to sanctions against Russian sports: Russia will lose the right to hold the largest sports competitions and claim for them, the country’s athletes will not be able to compete in world championships and Olympic games under the national flag. RUSADA can challenge the decision of WADA in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within 21 days. If RUSADA refuses to appeal, the leaders of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee (RCC), as well as the heads of international sports federations, can do this.
“From December to August, several major international competitions are planned in Russia, including the World Rapid and Blitz Championships, Vladivostok will host half the match for the women’s chess crown, World Chess Olympiad and Paralympics. I’m officially saying: all the planned FIDE tournaments will be held in Russia, “said Dvorkovich.” From a legal, technical point of view, there is no reason to transfer these competitions from Russia. All contracts have been signed, sponsors have been determined, resources have already been invested in organizing and conducting. “
The opening ceremony of the World Chess Olympiad, the first ever Chess Paralympics, the FIDE Congress and General Assembly will be held in Khanty-Mansiysk, the main tournament in Moscow. The opening ceremony will be held on July 29, the Paralympics – from July 30 to August 4, the main tournament – August 6-17. The tournament of applicants for men will be held in Yekaterinburg from March 15 to April 5. The match for the women’s chess crown, which will be played by Chinese woman Ju Wenjun and Russian Alexandra Goryachkina, will be held from January 4 to 24 in Shanghai and Vladivostok, the men’s rapid and blitz world championship will be held from December 26 to 30, 2019 in Moscow.
Dvorkovich also emphasized that FIDE does not experience any difficulties with WADA. “Despite the fact that we have no problems with doping, at all major competitions chess players pass doping tests, and there are no complaints against us from WADA,” the head of FIDE added.