01 September 2021
|“By no means,” exclaimed Hamilton, in his clear, thrilling, silvery voice.|
”It is not the bare printing and publishing of a paper that will make it a libel; the words themselves must be libellous, that is, false, scandalous, and seditious, or else my client is not guilty.”
― Crown v. John Peter Zenger, 1735
Previously (https://wushu-herald.co/politics/dragons-do-not-bow-to-ethics/), we discussed the Code of Ethics adopted by the International Wushu Federation (IWUF) and its Ethics Committee playing essential role in the enforcement of this Code. We saw that the fundamental ethical principles of the IWUF are loosely aligned with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) Code of Ethics while even a quick glimpse at the hidden principles reveals the dark side of the IWUF Ethics including extremely wide scope of application, intolerance of critics, senseless ban of remuneration and, above all, its focus on prosecution entrusted to the Ethics Committee. Anyone familiar with XX Century Russian history, will see a lot of common with the infamous NKVD Troikas:
“NKVD troika … were the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD which would later be the beginning of the KGB) made up of three officials who issued sentences to people after simplified, speedy investigations and without a public and fair trial. The three members were judge and jury, though they themselves did not carry out the sentences they dealt. These commissions were employed as instruments of extrajudicial punishment introduced to supplement the Soviet legal system with a means for quick and secret execution or imprisonment. It began as an institution of the Cheka, then later became prominent again in the NKVD, when it was used during the Great Purge to execute many hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens. Defendants in the Troika’s proceeding were typically not entitled to legal aid or the presumption of innocence. Convictions usually did not include information about the actual incriminating evidence and basically contained only information about indictment and sentencing. The outcome of such trials was often determined before it even began due to targeted numbers of citizens to be executed or imprisoned in Gulag prison camps.
So, what seems to make the IWUF Ethics Committee look so sinister?
Let’s compare it to the IOC Ethics Commission.
A. COMPOSITION AND ORGANISATION
Article 1. The IOC Ethics Commission is independent; it is composed of nine members, among whom there must be four IOC Members, be they active, honorary, honour or former IOC Members, including a representative of the IOC Athletes’ Commission; and five personalities, independent members, who are not active, honorary, honour or former IOC Members and who have no direct link to the sports movement. The Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission is one of the personalities who are not IOC Members.
The IWUF Ethics Committee is composed of three members all of whom are members of the Executive Board. The Chairman of the Ethics Committee is also a IWUF Vice President. There are no personalities who are not IWUF Members. There are no athletes’ representatives. There are no independent members at all. Two members represent Asia and one – Oceania. No Europe, no Americas, no Africa.
Article 2. The members and the Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission shall be elected by the IOC Session on the proposal of the IOC Executive Board in accordance with paragraph 2 of Rule 22 of the Olympic Charter.
The IWUF Ethics Committee is “established” by the proposal of the President approved by the Executive Board rather than elected.
Article 4. The IOC: The quorum required for a decision of recommendation is reached when at least five members, at least three of whom are independent members, are present. Each member will make every effort to attend the meetings.
The IWUF: No quorum is explicitly required. Theoretically, the Chairman can make all the decisions.
Based on its Composition and organisation, IWUF Ethics Committee does not appear to correspond to the IOC Ethics standards. Particularly, if the IWUF followed, at least loosely, the related IOC structure, it would have about half of the Ethics Committee consisting of “personalities” not directly related to IWUF. These are supposed to be slightly famous, well-respected people with impeccable reputation. Apparently, IWUF cannot afford a luxury of scouting for such people outside its Executive Board, and why would they? There is plenty of slightly respected and impeccably presented people with famous reputation within its close team.
Not yet! To be continued…