FIDE Throws Down the Gauntlet, part 4

I am glad that Peter Wilson has explained that there were two separate forms to be signed by the players in the document pack received from FIDE. One form lists all the prescribed medications the player is taking. The other form is a consent to be drug tested.

However, Peter Wilson continues to make contradictory statements. On the one hand, he keeps saying: "Can we now end this 'discussion' on FIDE drug-testing - it is past its sell-by date and is dead in the water."

Then, in the same posting, Peter Wilson says, "you are saying that they WILL refuse to sign (what all 6 of them ?) and that the Captain WILL then submit a team-list including those players and they WILL then be barred from playing ... and they WILL then walk out and others (teams or individuals ?) will join them. Unless I have misread what you wrote - that is what you were saying?"

You accuse me of not reading your posts, but apparently you have not read mine, nor have you read the posting to this group by Frank Niro, USCF Executive Director, or by John McCrary, USCF President, which said exactly the same thing that I have said, which is as follows:

We recognize that the players on the US Chess Olympiad team are professional chess players and what happens in Bled will have a direct impact on their earning capacity. For that reason, and recognizing that they are intelligent individuals capable of making their own decisions, we will not tell them what to do. It is up to each individual player to decide whether or not to sign the drug testing forms and to decide whether to submit to an actual drug test. What ever decision the player makes, the USCF will support the decision. The USCF will not be walking out of FIDE. We will insist on the right of our players to play. If FIDE does not want our players to play, they will have to throw us out. This might be the end of FIDE. Nobody can know what will happen in Bled. However, one thing I can tell you for sure is that under no circumstances will the USCF require the US players to sign any drug testing forms. And, yes indeed, our captain will do exactly what you say that that he could not possibly do, which is submit a team list of players which may contain the names of players who will not sign the forms or who will not submit to a drug test.

FIDE has brought this crisis upon itself. FIDE has known for at least three years that there are strong objections to drug testing. Perhaps FIDE has not taken these objections seriously. However, at the Istanbul Olympiad in 2000, several of the world's strongest players did not come to the Olympiad because there were reports that drug testing would be required. Most notably, Grandmaster Timman of the Netherlands did not come to the Olympiad in protest to drug testing. This caused a serious problem for the Dutch chess team, because later one of their players had to return home early and so the Dutch team was left with only four players and had no reserve.

Many people have been telling me in private e-mails that drug testing will be dropped at the last moment in Bled, just as it was done at the Istanbul Olympiad. This is what I hope will happen. You apparently believe that it will not happen.

You ask for "hard evidence". I do not have any. For good reason, the players are playing it close to the vest. They are not revealing their intentions as to whether they will agree to drug testing or not. I am not going to ask them, either.

You also keep asking why the US has not put any anti-drug testing items on the FIDE agenda. There is a serious problem in our leadership. The players have made it abundantly clear that they oppose drug testing. However, the USCF Executive Board members are for the most part not chess players. Steve Doyle, who as a Vice-President of FIDE is the number one person to blame for creating this situation, has not played a rated tournament game in well over a decade. Neither has John McCrary, USCF president, or Steve Shutt, USCF treasurer. The only Executive Board members who are tournament chess players are the two who were elected in this most recent election in August, Arnold Denker and Joe Wagner, and this situation developed before they got on the board.

Finally, you keep talking about your federation. You seem to be oblivious to the fact that there is a strong movement to kick your federation out of FIDE. Almost everybody agrees that your federation should never have been admitted. Only independent countries are supposed to be allowed to join FIDE. Guernsey is located in the English Channel and is British. You keep saying that Guernsey is an independent country with its own parliament, but nobody agrees with you. Many people were upset when Guernsey was admitted to FIDE membership in 1995. We still do not understand how this happened. If it came to a vote, you would be expelled. Your constant comparisons between the Island of Guernsey, which has only 50 chess players, and the United States Chess Federation are, in a word, ridiculous.

Sam Sloan

Delivered-To: Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2002 02:01:22 +0100 (BST) From: Peter Wilson

Sam ... I wish you would actually read what I write ... rather than just part of it, please ! I have plenty to do without having to correct your comments which have been made in response to what I write.

The forms I mentioned were/are part of the first document sent by the organising Olympiad Committee. There were two forms included in the booklet (which also had details of who was on the organising committee and some details of Slovenia). I think it will have been sent to either the Secretary (or maybe the FIDE Delegate) of each FIDE Country who has entered Bled. We've had it for a couple of weeks. It did NOT contain one form for each Bled Player - Mary photocopied the forms and sent one photocopy of each to each of our players so that they will have advance notice. There are also details of FIDE's requirements re : Drug testing. When I say two forms are in the booklet .. that is what I mean ...

One form is the one to show all prescribed medication(s) - to be signed by the player's doctor (so that has to be done prior to being in Bled)

The second form IS a declaration (and one form will have to be signed at Bled) that the player agrees to being drug-tested at Bled.

This is exactly what was agreed at Istanbul - it was passed there and then - no-one sought to change this at FIDE's 2001 Congress.

We will, therefore, have drug-testing in Bled - according to FIDE Rules. If anyone wants drug-testing to be dropped from the 2004 Olympiads and the ones after ... then someone needs to put forward a motion to that effect either at the 2003 FIDE Congress ... or at the Bled 2002 one (IF the Chairman of GA will allow it under 'Any Other Business' - which he may well decline to do) - and it has to be passed !!

Again we have a scenario painted by you - Sam Sloan - that the American players WILL refuse to sign the form ... how can you say this, have you any evidence at all to this effect ... you are saying that they WILL refuse to sign (what all 6 of them ?) and that the Captain WILL then submit a team-list including those players and they WILL then be barred from playing ... and they WILL then walk out and others (teams or individuals ?) will join them. Unless I have misread what you wrote - that is what you were saying ? How can you possibly say this - what evidence of any kind (and I don't mean suggestion, rumour, 'pub talk', or personal opinion - I mean hard EVIDENCE from the USA players and Captain themselves). I don't agree with FIDE affiliating to the IOC ... and I see no need for expensive drug-testing (look at the size of the budget for the drug-testing Commission !!) ... BUT we (my Federation) are a part of FIDE and will will abide by FIDE Rules. If the USA players decide individually, or collectively, not to sign the drug-testing agreement then that is their choice ... if they are then barred from playing that is according to FIDE Rules as they currently stand ... if they walk out then they walk out - rather silly to travel from the USA to Bled simply NOT to play chess, isn't it ? I shall be sorry if that happens - as I enjoy watching their games when I'm not playing myself - but if they pull out - they pull out - no-one is forcing them to play and I am certainly not. The Olympiad will go on whether the USA play or not. I hope they will play.

As a thought - if they are not intending to play ... surely the USCF can select 6 players who WILL sign the drug-testing agreement ... and will love to play for their country in this Olympiad !!! I am always VERY proud to play in an Olympiad.

Can we now end this 'discussion' on FIDE drug-testing - it is past its sell-by date and is dead in the water (as is the chance of chess ever being included in The Olympic Games). Let us not waste any more time on it - there are more important matters which merit discussion.

In amazement ... Peter Wilson

PS I would like to know what you mean by a FIDE Meeting in Moscow a few weeks ago ... what meeting was that ??? Who was invited to it ... and on what basis was someone from the USCF there (invited ? If so for what ?) FIDE Congress is the proper place to place resolutions ... there are no anti-drug-testing ones on the Bled Agenda. wrote:
You are absolutely correct that I slightly misstated the situation when I said that FIDE had sent out the forms, whereas you letter said that the Olympiad organizing committee of FIDE had sent out the forms. However, this distinction is a legal technicality, which hardly matters.

Also, it is not clear that FIDE has already sent out forms for the players to sign agreeing to drug testing. Your letter says that the forms to be signed by the players merely contain a declaration of any prescribed drugs being taken by the player. That hardly seems to be a big difference, since it is clear that the next step will be a form which every player must sign consenting to drug testing. All this really does is postpone the issue for a few weeks until the players actually arrive in Bled late this month.

Your next question is why did not the US Delegation vote against FIDE Drug Testing in Istanbul. The answer is simply this: In Istanbul, the USCF was represented by two of the most despicable people in US Chess: Steve Doyle and Jim Eade. For reasons best known to themselves, they were in favor of drug testing by FIDE. In addition, at that time, Tim Redman was USCF President, and he too was in favor of drug testing, even though he knew that 99% of all US players were opposes to drug testing.

Tim Redman is not USCF President any more and can guarantee you that he will never be again, even if he waits another 15 years to run a third time. This time, we will not forget how bad he was the last time.

Your next question is why at the 2001 FIDE Congress did the USCF not try to set aside drug testing. The answer to this important question is that we were still sending US Representatives who lie all the time. At the August, 2001 USCF delegate's meeting in Framingham, the USCF passed the Mike Goodall motion, which was most strongly worded motion

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