Details from the FIDE Doping Hearing Panel
by Macauley Peterson, February 11, 2009

For two long months, Vassily Ivanchuk’s future in chess was in some doubt. After failing to respond to a request for a drug test following his last round loss at the Dresden Olympiad, he faced a potential two year suspension.

During the Corus tournament, of January 21st, all eyes were on Wijk aan Zee, as a committee arranged by FIDE was scheduled to meet with the popular Ukrainian GM to discuss the rules violation.

The following day, FIDE published a news item, “Decision of the FIDE Doping Hearing Panel,” which exonerated Ivanchuk.

To arrive at this conclusion, Chess.FM has learned that a preliminary meeting was held on January 20, after round four of Corus.

According to the as-yet unpublished official decision from the FIDE Doping Hearing Panel, Ivanchuk, along with his lawyer Galiena Oleksii, met with four of the five members of the panel to plead his case. Also present was Polina Nikolopoulos-Tsedenova, the FIDE Administrative Manager, acting as an interpreter. The decision states in part:

This preliminary meeting was arranged to give Mr Oleksii the opportunity to give his view on the case, because Mr Oleksii had to leave Wijk aan Zee before the time of the hearing.

The basic argument in Ivanchuk’s defense was as follows: After the final round match pitting the United States against Ukraine, Ivanchuk, who had lost to Gata Kamsky, was approached by International Arbiter Abraham Dorner (Israel), who informed him of the need for a drug test.

Although the match selection and board number had been randomly determined in advance in accordance with FIDE regulations, no “Doping Control Officer” was present along with Mr. Dorner, therefore Ivanchuk had technically not “refused” a drug testing request.

The Doping Hearing Panel convened the morning on January 21, between 10:00 and 11:00. The panel consisted of:

Jana Bellin – Chair of the FIDE Medical Commission, which is responsible for overseeing drug testing in chess.
Dr. Hans-Joachim Hofstetter – Vice-chairman of the FIDE Medical Commission
Grand master Jonathan Speelman – member of the FIDE Medical Commission
Grand master David Navara
Arthur Schuering – International Arbiter (Netherlands)

Here is the full article.

“Reprinted under Creative Commons.”

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