Crisis levels surrounding the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) have intensified today after 46 countries called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to intervene in what they describe as an "unacceptable coup" by the organisation's Board. It followed the appointment of Australia's Rebecca Adam as President for the next three years by the Board earlier this week in a decision made without consultation with the wider membership.
A group of 46 countries from four regional Confederations have appealed to the IOC administration and Ethics Commission to intervene in "supporting the ICSD's own constitution" at a "critical juncture" for the community.The controversy escalated in May this year when ICSD President Valery Rukhledev was arrested and placed under house arrest for two months in his home country of Russia.
The 70-year-old, a six-time Deaflympics champion for the Soviet Union between 1969 and 1977 in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling who had led the world governing body since 2013, was charged under the Russian Criminal Code and accused of embezzling over RUB50 million (£604,000/$803,800/€690,000) from the All-Russian Society of the Deaf in Moscow.
An ICSD statement following a Board meeting in Yerevan on Monday (July 30), chaired by acting President Kang Chen, said that Rukhledev took the "serious decision to retire with immediate effect" after "five years of faithful duty".