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EBL’s reply to Nordic Bridge Union

Leggi in italiano »

Today the Norwegian Bridge Federation (NBF) has published a mail from EBL President Mr Aubry:

Dear  President,

Thank  you  for  your  official  request  for  a  review  of  the  status  of  Lotan  Fisher  and  Ron  Schwartz   following  the  allegations  of  cheating  published  on  the  Internet  and  Social  Media.

Although  the  EBL  had  not  received  any  official  request  from  any  EBL  NBO,  these  2  players  were  under   surveillance  during  our  recent  EBL  championships.  However,  right  up  until  today  the  EBL  has  not   received  any  direct  accusation  of  wrongdoing  by  the  pair  from  any  opponent  or  their  NBO  that  had   arisen  during  EBL  championships.

The  only  related  official  request  has  come  from  Lotan  Fisher  and  Ron  Schwartz  in  Tromsø,  when  they   were  accused  in  a  bar  during  the  “night”  by  Peter  Fredin  to  be  the  biggest  bridge  cheats  in  the  world.

Daily,  I  follow  what  is  being  published  on  the  matter.  It  is  a  serious  affair  not  only  for  these  2  players   but  for  Bridge  in  general,  the  Bridge  community,  top  players  and  of  course  institutions  like  the  EBL.

In  this  area  of  discipline,  the  following  matters  need  to  be  considered:

1. The  EBL’s  direct  responsibility  for  discipline  is  limited  to  EBL  Championships.  We  are  a  sport   federation  and  our  options  to  investigate  and  take  decisions  are  clearly  limited  in  statutes   and  rules  and  regulations  to  our  EBL  Championships.

2. To  officially  investigate,  the  EBL  needs  to  receive  formal  requests  from  members  of  the  EBL;   the  EBL  members  are  the  NBOs  and  not  individual  players.  Thus  receiving  your  letter  was   important  in  providing  a  legal  basis  to  investigate.  Everything  published  by  a  player  cannot  be   taken  in  consideration  by  the  EBL.

3.  Investigation  of  incidents  that  occur  in  ACBL  championships,  national  championships  or   invitational  events  are  the  responsibility  of  the  authority  organizing  the  event.  For  example   Fisher/Schwartz  won  the  Cavendish  in  Monaco  but  were  not  invited  to  return  the  following   year.  To  date,  no  information  has  been  passed  on  to  the  EBL  on  why  this  course  of  action  was   taken.

4. The  EBL  is  strongly  opposed  to  cheating  and  will  take  all  feasible  measures  to  eliminate  it  but   it  is  impossible  to  have  a  camera  and  a  TD  behind  every  player  under  suspicion.  3  pairs  were   under  close  surveillance  in  during  the  2014  Team  Championships  in  Opatija  but  no  cheating   could  be  proved.

5. In  following  our  disciplinary  code,  it  is  not  mentioned  that  the  EBL  President  can  himself   make  a  request  to  investigate  the  actions  of  players  but  neither  does  it  say  he  cannot,  so  last   week  I  have  taken  the  first  step  by  asking  our  legal  advisor  for  advice  on  the  legal  procedures   to  be  followed.

6. All  players  are  under  the  authority  of  their  NBO  and  this  is  the  reason  why  the  Israeli   Federation  is  conducting  an  investigation  into  the  allegations  related  in  various  media;  they   can  be  expected  to  reach  a  conclusion  before  the  end  of  September.   Similarly,  it  is  the  responsibility  of  the  Swedish  Federation  to  make  a  judgment  on  Peter   Fredin’s  behavior.

In  receiving  your  official  request,  the  EBL  has  now  a  legal  basis  to  set  an  investigation  process  in   motion  to  deal  with  matters  occurring  at  EBL  Championships.  Due  process  will  follow  and  the  2   players  will  be  given  the  opportunity  to  explain  any  of  their  actions  that  warrant  an  explanation.

The   EBL  Disciplinary  Committee  charged  with  investigating  the  matter  will  reach  a  conclusion  and  if   appropriate,  action  will  be  taken.  All  decisions  can  be  subject  to  an  appeal.

Until  the  investigation  has  been  concluded,  if  required,  the  EBL  Credentials  Committee  can,  under   the  rules  and  regulations,  decide  to  accept  or  not  accept  these  players’  entry  for  any  EBL  event   without  giving  a  reason.

Following  any  conclusions  reached,  if  needed,  the  EBL  Executive  Committee  can  refer  to  the  statutes   in  reviewing  the  final  results  of  the  last  EBL  Open  Team  Championships.

It  is  quite  important  to  conduct  this  matter  in  a  legal  and  structured  manner.  The  world  of  Bridge  has   had  recent  experience  which  will  probably  need  10  years  in  different  courts  and  countries  to  be   definitely  concluded.  I  want  to  avoid  any  possibility  of  this  recurring.

Yours  sincerely

EBL  President


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