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The time has come to talk openly about problems of sambo and to solve them by round table, not occupying with obscure struggle. We start the issues of broadcasts and programmes to clear up the existing situation. Our first guest is honorable president of International federation of sambo David Rudman. David Lvovich, the situation that exists nowadays in sambo is not very favorable. Intrigues, dismissals, pressing of different chiefs and even mass media. How do you estimate the state of affairs for the present moment?
I consider that the situation in sambo is bad, undoubtedly. Because every intrigue, every conflict, it doesn’t move forward and develop sambo. And this happened because present leadership of FIAS doesn’t take into account criticism, another opinion, it has only its own point of view. And one opinion shouldn’t be always right. For the last time we created magazine “Self- defence without weapons”, SAMBO.TV. SAMBO.TV is very popular, all sambists watch it. Instead of taking and using all this prepared, alternative companies are created. SAMBO.TV is taken aside, because they are “wrong persons”, they seem to have their own point of view for everything, and this is undesirable. And the other company would work as I would say. I suppose that Vasilyi Borisovich thinks in this way. Here begins the substitution of reality by invented things. Per se cheating of people takes place. And the people of the highest level including cheat of the President of Russian Federation, when he is being told how “the things in sambo are excellent and brilliant”. Nowadays the situation in sambo is far from being excellent and brilliant. And there is nothing to be afraid about, we should talk about the real situation, about what we have now and not about how we would like to be.
And in reality- the exclusion of combat sambo from the programme of Games of Martial arts of 2013. With WHAT is it connected ?
There is a letter from Verbrugen, the president of SportAccord, to Shestakov about that they couldn’t include combat sambo in the programme of Games. I can’t understand why they couldn’t do so. First of all, the first entering into Sportaccord was made by me, in the Games of Martial arts. It was made by our federation with me at the head of it. And at that time we had tough competition with FILA. FILA said that it would recognize sambo and there was some kind of fight for the position who would possess sambo: we or FILA. We managed to include both sport and combat sambo during this period. In Beijing, you know, all was perfect, everybody was happy and satisfied, everybody liked combat sambo. Then it turns out that combat sambo isn’t appropriate. I can’t understand the position of Vasilyi Borisovich who says to the president of our country: “You know, they stroke off sambo, how could it be ?” How the president couldn’t understand why sambo was stroke off ? I am also surprised by self-control of Vladimir Vladimirovich when he answered Shestakov: “And who was the president of sambo at that moment? Why did you make so that you were excluded ?” It is necessary to achieve that sambo would be included. And who would make it but the president of federation ? Nobody could do it besides him. The foundation could always be invented and this foundation could always be disproved. This is the process. For example, we held recently open championship of America. Because we have competition in sambo there and there was combat sambo, our competitors called the police. The police came and said to us: “ Do you hold here championship in combat sambo? For this purpose you should obtain the permission of Athletic commission of the state New Jersey”. The President of federation of sambo Jack Kogan answered: “Wait a minute, we have rules, we have safety uniform, security and the emergency is on duty, and we don’t take money from spectators. That’s why there is any violation”. The police officers replied: “Is it so? Ok, give us documents and then the question will be solved and closed”. That’s the same with Sportaccord. If Sportaccord wrote claims that you had aggressive view and so on, we should just have proved it. Because there are, for example, amateur boxing and professional boxing. In amateur boxing there are helmet and rules. In professional boxing there is no any helmet etc.. That’s the same here. We made everything that this kind of sport to be recognized. But Vasilyi Borisovich had absence of I don’t know what to stand up for what we have been creating for years. Spectators to combat sambo come significantly more than to sport sambo. For us this is a very strong stroke for all sambo that combat sambo was excluded.
As I know FIAS filed an application to International Olympic Committee and the whole range of positions exposed in it doesn’t correspond the reality. What flaws and contradictions did you manage to reveal ?
First of all, application to international Olympic Committee was signed by one person, the president. It was never and nowhere discussed and when I, knowing that it was being prepared, asked, wrote a letter to Vasilyi Borisovich about if I could read this application. I, in any event, for that moment, was the first vice-president of FIAS and by my position I had right to see this application. Maybe, I would have found there something incorrect or correct on the contrary. There wasn’t any answer to my letter then I demanded to get this application. Nobody gave it to me. I obtained it in a roundabout way. It was scary to read it. Sambo is presented and exposed in such bad light that I don’t know how IOC or other organization could recognize it. I wrote a letter concerning this issue to everybody. I analyzed it absolutely. There I wrote that, let me suppose, in Russia 1900 people occupy sambo. I say how it could be- in sambo there are 70 thousands people, and only 6 thousand occupy sambo? In Moscow 10 thousand people occupy sambo. How this figure could be ? Further, it is written- 4 people occupy sambo in Italy. And according to this application 27 persons participated in competitions. I can’t understand how could 4 persons become 27? Further more. There is written about finances that we couldn’t present financial report by the end of 2013. And this is the principal report. Now the federation of sambo is being excluded from the programme of Olympic games because they couldn’t present the correct report to IOC. Because of the neglectful attitude and giving it to fill to the secretaty now they are being excluded from Olympic games. But we want to enter the games, yes, I agree, we should have made this application so attentively and carefully that nobody could chicane with even small detail. Furthermore, the number of spectators. There are a lot of mistakes. Formally, the application is made, but factually there is absence of application. It turns out that that it dropped back sambo, I suppose, for 8 years minimum. Because they couldn’t examine our application every day. And the answer, they told us that by the end of the year we would have time for recognition. The year already finished long time ago, the half of this year has already passed- but we are still not recognized. And I understand IOC, why it can’t recognize us, because the federation of sambo couldn’t be recognized with such documents.
On the 22nd of March during the session of Executive committee of FIAS the members of Executive committee of International Federation of Sambo voted for your dismissal and cessation of your powers till the holding of next Congress in connection with actions that discredit the International Federation of Sambo. What exact actions- they don’t specify. Tell me, please, in details about the circumstances of the case.
We held the next federation as continental because in 2013 it was planned so. FIAS says: “You don’t have right, appoint in other month”. Continental federation is independent organization, it doesn’t depend from FIAS. It works in its own regime and on its continent. We say how it can be so? It’s involvement into inner affairs. If it is convenient for us to appoint in March, we appoint in March. There was a lawyer, he presented. Notary public plays a role of lawyer there. And FIAS says “No”, it is incorrect. Naturally, I wrote the whole range of letters of indignant people. The executive committee is held and they take decision to remove us from work. First of all, only the congress could remove and dismiss us. The executive committee can’t dismiss me. It could recommend to do so, but it doesn’t have right to dismiss me physically. That’s the first thing. Secondly, I tell it- on what grounds, what you don’t like in my behavior? You write letters. I say “Do you consider that if I am dismissed, I will write less letters? That’s untrue, I would continue to write because I have my own point of view, and I would express it. And I advice you to do the same. That is if you have your point of view- express it openly!
Tell us about so named alternative federations. Have they being created for a long time by FIAS and for what purposes ?
Everything began with the American continent. Continental federation of sambo was created on Pan-American continent. Totally, 7 federations recognized by FIAS are registered officially. And only 4 of them work, 3- work poorly, I can say that. Canada works, America, Venezuela works very well, and Dominican Republic started to work well nowadays. And instead of reinforcing it, the decision is taken, in 2010, Mihail Ivanovich Tihomirov is sent, and the second continental federation of sambo is organized in Columbia. During this event only one recognized federation presented- Columbia. And it was elected by the president, appointed by him. The President is a person from Argentina whom nobody knows. He has never been a sambist. And the first one who spoke about it was Venezuela. And I didn’t understand ,at first, what the matter was about. On the congress of 2010 Victor Pirella stood up. This is a country where already for 20 years the sambo has been developed very well, there is sambo almost in all regions. National championships are being held, everybody participates in world championships. He says,- “who is this Argentinean, we don’t know him, we exist already for 20 years and we were not even asked about it!” .And it turns out that there is substitution of functioning federations by forged ones. Naturally, we were indignated because how this could be. I put a question many times about that it is illegal. That is there is the congress and the statutes. We should act according to the statutes or the congress. In revenge they say to us that “ we don’t know how you are registered”. And we are registered officially, we have state documents where it is written when this company Pan-America was created, how it was registered, as non-commercial etc.. They say – “Here, we registered another one, in Columbia!” We sent request to Columbia. The Ministry of internal affairs of Columbia informs us that “this document is forged, and we open criminal case for the falsification of documents.” That is the legal action is opposed to illegal action. They are created only for one aim, to vote for Vasilyi Borisovich. There is no development of sambo, but there is substitution of its activity. Particularly, there is permanent violation of the statutes, that is, let us suppose, national federations are organized there that have been already working for many years. Let me suppose, here is Canada, the federation exists for a very long time. And when I became a president of FIAS in 2005, there was any documentation, and we accepted all federations that exist factually. By this way we accepted Russia without any documentation, Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria, including Canada, etc. Now, the leadership writes a letter that due to that there wasn’t congress about voting, this federation is invalid, and we would create another federation. Although Canadian federation participates in all competitions, it brings to us 30-40 people for Pan-American games, it unites many sambist clubs. And there is no alternative for it in Canada, I know the situation there. In America the federation exists for many years. It has already been before me naturally. I entered federation in 2005, but it has already existed before me. Since 2005 we started to hold national championships. 200 persons participated last year. USA SAMBO open- is open championship. The person from FIAS comes and says: “I have an estimate- 5000 thousand dollars per month, he says it to all clubs, come to us- we are better!”. One my coach says-“Well, he keeps his club and could you organize such competitions? Organize them, and we will come!”. Do you understand the matter that sambo isn’t so developed kind of sport as judo and other kinds of sport. Even non-olympic karate is significantly more powerful, there are 15 million people. We have small number of people occupying sambo, we need to take care of every coach, every sportsman. Instead of this there is substitution of undesirable federations by pleasing ones.
Talking about pleasing: on the 23rd of April to the mail of Asian FIAS sent a letter about holding Asian championship in Seoul on the 31st of May to 3rd of June that would become selection championship for the Second Games of SportAccord. In this letter it is also said that in case of non-approval of participation, FIAS reserves the right to invite alternative federation. Comment, please, this notification.
Outrageous situation happened with Asian federation of sambo. When I became the president of Worldwide federation, in Asian federation there were seven countries and these were all countries from former Soviet Union: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, you understand, Tajikistan and other countries. Factually there was any foreign country. Fazliddin Pulatov made enormous work, and now there are 28 countries. Everything is legitimate, legal, but Fazliddin is inconvenient person, he has his own point of view, which doesn’t coincide with the opinion of Vasilyi Borisovich Shestakov. Then the decision was taken to hold another federation, and there were even two attempts to do that. At first, last year when Fazliddin indignated- “How could you do that?”. At that time Shestakov refused and addressed to Undaganov, telling him “What are you doing?”, as a result he answered –“It was you who told me to do that, and I made it”. Ok, we passed it. This year, at the beginning of it, again, they held so named elections. During these elections from 28 countries, to my mind, only three presidents were present, other persons were sportsmen and judges and they took decision to elect another person- Undaganov- as president. That is factually there is destruction, that is that things that were created with such efforts, now all this is being destructed easily and at once. And recently the letter to all Asian federations was written. About that if you wouldn’t come to competitions in South Korea, continental competitions- FIAS couldn’t control them, and he says- “if you don’t come, we will create alternative federations in your countries”- this is a direct menace. And again the destruction, how the federation should be that works? I.e. its work is useless for everybody. Sambo is pided on “pleasing” and “unpleasing” persons. I say that when I was a president, there were a lot of people who criticized me and had their own point of view or expressed it, and this is normal! It doesn’t mean that this or that person should be dismissed and taken another one instead of him. Do you understand? It’s very impolite and rude, very!
And what about the Statutes of FIAS altered and changed without voting? Did you manage , as a result, to register the correct variant of the Statutes?
This is a vexed question and I explain why it is vexed. Because we have quiet good relations with each other and with all federations. And everything is based on mutual trust. And many presidents of federations didn’t even read the Statutes, do you understand it? They hope that the agent, president or somebody else, general secretary or other people would write correctly the Statutes. And when the question is about the Statutes, about its registration in Switzerland, by the way, nobody voted for that Statutes, for its registration in Switzerland, only incorrect Statutes was registered. It didn’t include those provisions that…in short, factually the new Statutes were registered that doesn’t have any connection with the old one. And the Statutes is a very important document- it is our constitution. And I, in due time, adopted the Statutes of Tihomirov, which I and many people didn’t like. And every year on conferences we made amendments to these Statutes. To change some paragraphs that they would correspond more the reality. Everybody voted for this. That is we changed the Statutes from item to item, and we had disagreements. For example, somebody considered that it shouldn’t/ should be changed, we voted, debated, proved. Now the old Statutes were thrown away at once and the new one was written. Mihail Shultz is the only person who read and saw the Statutes. And he indignated and said: “Guys, you registered the wrong Statutes.How can it be?” And Vasilyi Borisovich replied: If you think so, be at the head of the commission”. Misha made enormous work. He gathered all the presidents of the federation, who was interested and had his own point of view. He united these opinions and exposed them as amendments to these Statutes. The Congress in Vilnius voted for these amendements. But Shestakov changes it. Then Misha stated and said: “We took the decision on the congress, we have to obey the congress”. Shestakov replied: “Ok, register the new Statutes”. One year passes, nothing changes. And Shestakov says: “Misha, what about your Statutes?” Misha answers: “This is not my Statutes. I haven’t done anything with this Statutes, I only collected opinions as the chairman of the commission. I was ordered, I collected opinions and showed them to You. The congress approved them. Now you are obliged to reregister the Statutes. Up to what he said if you don’t register it, I will put a question before the congress that You should be replaced by another president.” Then Vasylii Borisovich scared and made amendments in the Statutes. And now he prepares amendments in these Statutes, that he made in order to return in place all positions that were in these Statutes. That’s why I have simple appeal to the presidents of national federations: read the Statutes, read the amendments. This would touch all of you. I.e. if we adopt and approve the incorrect Statutes, we would have to live in a wrong way.
What steps are taking now to improve the situation and to avoid catastrophic consequences?
Look what the story is. Generally, what is the International federation of sambo? This is how the joint-stock company is. National federations establish their international federation. And they are the co-owners of international federation. And this question is being solved through the Statutes, through democratic elections, through all proceedings that exist in democratic world hundreds of years if not more. Now, there is attempt to replace it by dictator regime. That is the policy of diktat takes place. Instead of stick is used the conversation about how we would create alternative federation in our country, and throw you away. And instead of a carrot they use words that we would help you financially. However, I haven’t seen the financial support. In any event there is no answer to applications of many countries. It is written down: you fill the applications, we would examine them. But there were no answers. That’s why this problem can be solved by only easy way: when all national federations understand that the future of sambo is in their hands but not in hands of one person that we elected, but in the hands of our team, the community of 80 federations. If we understand where it all leads to, this leads now only to the destruction of sambo, there is any perspective there. National federations are the members of FIAS, they are co-owners, shareholders of FIAS. They are the principal elements in this case. They solve the question of how much money should be given to one federation or for the holding of world championship and etc. They decide. In our federation all it is substituted by the decision of one person, the president. This is dictatorship. It’s not right. This is the monopoly of power. And then it turns out that all national federations, they are nothing, they are just machines for voting. In fact, all funds that came to FIAS belong to all federations, all national federations. And they have right naturally to fill their applications, they have right to stand for this application, prove what is more necessary for them and what not. The leadership of FIAS should examine it, naturally. Now nothing of this is made. It is made only by personal will, moreover, even alternative federations are being financed and that is illegal. Let me suppose, I am the member of American federation of sambo, today I am the honorable president of American federation, I am the co-owner of FIAS. They want to throw me away. To throw away all federation, not me personally, but through me, probably, all federation. This is raiding. It is called corporate raid if we compare it with business. All this is illegal. And when do the federations understand where this direction leads? Because today maybe I am pleased by Shestakov, Shestakov likes me, but tomorrow he could dislike me. Shestakov would say: “Well, I don’t like him at all, let’s remove him and replace him by another one.” That’s all. I.e. I even don’t understand how it could be in modern society. We have international federation, international kind of sport. Democratic, international laws should be applied, to the point, Putin talked about it. And I wrote in my letter that it is strange that Shestakov that affirms he is a friend of Putin, even doesn’t read his speeches. He doesn’t even watch the whole direction of movement of Russian and international community. We could achieve something only by democratic way. If Shestakov has any point of view, he should prove us that he is right. But it turns out that we all prove him that he is wrong. This is not right. Now I don’t know exactly the figure, but about 35 countries of national federations wrote proposal about recall of Vasilyi Borisovich Shestakov from the position of the president of FIAS. That is people are becoming aware where all this leads to and where we go.
David Lvovich, thank you very much for the interesting interview and for that you visited our programme. Dear spectators, I hope that we helped you at least a little bit to clear up and puzzle out the ocean of information. Our emission comes to an end, and I say goodbye to you till the next programme issues.
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