Italian Judging Scandal

#1
First there was a long article in a weekly magazine L'Espresso

Now a Milan Newspaper on 19th February has published an article. I am unable to post a link to the actual article but send me a private message if you are interested and I can provide.

This is a Google Language Translation.


Source: daily, Libero ', Milano
Date of Article: 19 February 2011
Category: timeliness, page 19

:

Legend:
CONI (Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano) = Olympic organization: care for the development and promotion of sport in Italy
FIDS (Federazione Italiana Danza Sportiva) = pendant to STSV in Switzerland

determines the winner even before the start of the tournament: Investigation in the FIDS: Scandal at the dance championships
Barbara Romano

Can you win a tournament before the match even starts? In Rimini, it happened. In the Italian Dance Sport Championships 2010, the most important annual event of the sector: 150,000 visitors, 32,000 dancers, 150 million € revenue, 11 days of tournaments. For nothing. Since everything was already decided. The results of the tournaments have been agreed and implemented at meetings of the judges. How did this happen? By convincing the judges with money and prestige and promise of future orders as well as new clubs. Those who wanted to add were not, even blackmail by threatening them not scoring more jobs to get and to punish "their" dancers.

The scandal was due to a charge of Alberto Pregnolato, 10 times Italian Champion Ballroom and for several years in the active FIDS dancesport expert from Padova are discovered, the investigation has even caused by CONI. He became aware of the discrepancies, because the results of the tournaments were consistent not with the shows / performances of dancers.

Through the first secret project, clean dance sport 'could an investigation be started, which provided the evidence in the championships for the long-held suspicion: intimidation / blackmail the judges, circulating note, corrupt members of the Union.

How could these machinations are revealed? Through years of association work could exploit familiar contacts within the adjudicators and judges inject their own Sun in the jury of the championship. There were informal meetings prior to the tournament for the judges, the result lists to pass. These meetings were convened by FIDS some consultants, such Nicola Cuocci example, currently under investigation for sporting fraud. There are testimonies, and audio and video evidence, which show how some judges before the tournament finals and the compilation of the rankings were to each other. And the evidence also shows how judges, who initially refused despite promises of new work orders to participate, received threats and were finally forced to collaborate.

This evidence and witness statements currently being truly bring the background of the Italian mafia dance sport to light.

The purpose of the whole? to have dancers of certain coaches to win the power and importance of these coaches stepped up. But these illegal activities were in accordance Pregnolato an even more important purpose: to create an association in the association. The manipulation of the results of this tournament was the best way to gain more power can be.

In practice, it was a question about a hundred trusted advisers, judges and officials from all FIDS select members with the pledge of future work orders. The ultimate goal of the association in the federation was to extract tens of millions of euros from the allocation of clubs in these selected persons.

The advocacy of the Republic of Rimini has called for an inquiry. On 4 January 2011 has had to open the federal prosecutor Fabio Pennisi due to the extremely serious charges, the study mentioned by the court in Rimini, which analyzes current full range of these mafia-style machination.

The prosecution has reached such an extent that the Board of FIDS can not defend himself against the allegations, because they appear to be completely involved. The evidence was so obvious and numerous, even to have provoked the resignation of the President of the FIDS Association, Ferruccio Galvagno, 6 February 2011 . Galvagno also is being investigated under this sporting fraud.

Two days after the resignation the President of CONI, the organization has decided to launch a commission for the association to make with the transfer of the case to the Vice President of CONI, Luca Pancalli. The indictment was based on serious and specific reasons, said Gianni Petrucci, the president of CONI. Harsh words for the detection of irregularities in the Italian dancing. And according to internal sources of the court in Rimini, we are just at the beginning of the investigation.
 
#3
Submitting a thread for consideration

WRT press releases of IDSF President.
Was the OPDSC not created following the endeavours of Mr Galvagno at an AGM of the IDSF? Remember of course IDSF went to Court and swore IPDSC had nothing to do with them it was totally independent. This begs the question also, what did the late Juan Antonio Samaranch know about dance? Did he have detailed conversations with the World Dance Council? How could he give advice when hearing only one side of a story? There are those with no connection to dance/dancesport who say it was a mistake to get so involved with only one IOC IF and it has stained his memory.

In 2011/5 we read these words
FIDS has begun to progressively enforce its rule that its athletes cannot participate in competitions which are not registered in the IDSF system, [FONT=Verdana,Italic]including WDC’s largest and most profitable competitions, which are produced in England[/FONT]​

The overwhelming impression left by these words of the IDSF President is that he derives great satisfaction from the action of FIDS. Perhaps this explains what will happen in 2012 if these 3 English events with a worldwide reputation do not become closed only to IDSF dancers and adjudicators. Perhaps it is the words of the IDSF President that explain the rumours.

The truth? WDC has no WDC events in England (save when they are awarded a World or European Championship). They certainly have WDC and WDC AL Ranking Events but they gain no profit nor suffer loss. Why give misinformation Mr IDSF President?

Reading letter 2011/5 one would conclude that Mr Alberto Pregnolato held high office with the Itailan Dance Council the WDC member for Italy, that he had been outspoken in his support of IDC/WDC and had supported and adjudicated regularly at the WDC AL Open World Championship in Paris. The truth is that this is not and has not been the case. We have IDSF innuendo in their attempt to damage Mr Pregnalato and the WDC. This is unacceptable from any organisation never mind one which claims to be "The" organisation.

It is most unfortunate that when letters are issued by the IDSF President they do not clarify facts, contain misinformation, unsustained allegations and raise more questions. .In recent months the IDSF has without doubt suffered severe setbacks through their policies.

Whilst all this has been going on the WDC have successfully negotiated an agreement with WADA, created an Education Department with a Committee including prominent Sport Coaches, had an event run under the auspices of the Russian Olympic Committee and seen their President honoured by the Russian Olympic Committee and also the Russian Government. Of course they have also been honoured by further growth in the WDC Amateur League. There has been growth in those interested in "Freedom to Dance".

The IOC have admitted they have no authority to impose one body in any activity. UNESCO CID have recognised the World Dance Council, WADA have recognised WDC in the Competitive discipline of dance. It is now time for IDSF to acklnowledge the existance and importance of the oldest body in dance and work for peace. To work for the development of dance for the benefit of everyone who loves the Waltz, Tango, Vienniese Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble and Jive and the many other dances .
 
#4
A true and correct copy of
the original
Office for Collective
Bodies
Alessandro Cherubini
[Signature]
COMITATO OLIMPICO NAZIONALE ITALIANO
[Italian National Olympic Committee]
RESOLUTION OF THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE
No. 10
RE: Nomination of Extraordinary Member of the Italian DanceSport Association
Implementation:
Knowledge:
Delivered on:
THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE
AS PER Article 7, Item 2, Letter f) of D.Lgs.1 No. 242 of 23rd July 1999 and subsequent amendments
and supplements which among the functions of the National Committee provides for the proposal to
the National Committee of the appointment of an external Commissioner of the National Sports
Associations or the Associated Sports Disciplines, in the event of serious irregularities in management
or of serious breaches of Sports Regulations by the Managing Bodies, or rather in the event of the
established inability of operation of same or in the event in which the prescribed requirements have
not been observed for the purpose of ensuring normal commencement and execution of National
Sports competitions;
Resolution No. 10
Decreto legislative = Legislative Decree
Coni
-2 -
AS PER Article 7, Item 5, Letter f) of the CONI Constitution which highlights the powers of the
National Committee to propose the appointment of an external Commissioner of the National Sports
Associations in the cases indicated by the aforesaid D.Lgs.2 No. 242/99, as well as in the event that
the National Sports Associations have not adopted the prescribed requirements or the ad acta3
appointment of an external Commissioner for the relevant internal formal statements, in order to
ensure the normal execution of national sports competitions;
TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION that numerous complaints have reached the Office of the Chairman
of CONI from athletes, of a high competitive level, already holding a F.I.D.S.4 membership card, who
have represented Italy in DanceSport, achieving results of considerable significance, who all report a
management by the Chairman of F.I.D.S. marked by conflict in continuous disagreement with
national and international representatives, as well as a management not consistent with the general
interests of the Sport of DanceSport, matters all of which – as per the complaints – would have
involved the resignation from F.I.D.S. of the above athletes;
HAVING NOTED that both in the above complaints and in other complaints forwarded to the Federal
Prosecutor of F.I.D.S., and after having gathered information from the Association, it was found that
all Competition Judges are also concurrently Instructors, Trainers or Coaches with their own athletes
belonging to various associations;
HAVING NOTED in particular that this last circumstance expressly violates the Fundamental
Principles of the Constitutions of the National Sporting Associations as deliberated by the National
Committee of CONI, and in particular, the principle of incompatibility between the function of
adjudicator and that of coach;
HAVING NOTED that this principle of incompatibility is also ratified by Article 80 of the F.I.D.A.S.
Constitution which provides that the concurrent status of coach or instructor and that of contest
official is incompatible;
HAVING NOTED that Article 80, in confirmation of the above, provides for the obligation to establish
the criteria and procedures the classification of membership card holders as sports coaches or
contest officials through the specialist regulations of F.I.D.S.;
HAVING NOTED that F.I.D.S. forwarded to CONI on 28th September 2010 a copy of the “National
Specialist Management Regulations, Specialist Sector and of the Adjudicator’s Sector” in response to
which on 23rd December 2010 the offices of CONI expressed observations to which a reply has not
yet been received, and as a result of this CONI have not approved the regulations.
HAVING NOTED in the circumstances that the provisions quoted in Article 80 of the F.I.D.S.
Constitution have not been implemented;
Decreto legislative = Legislative Decree
To the archives, i.e. consider the matter as closed
4
Federazione Italiana Danza Sportiva = Italian DanceSport Association
A true and correct copy of
the original
Office for Collective
Bodies
Alessandro Cherubini
[Signature]
-3 -
HAVING NOTED that the aforesaid situation on the one hand brings about a violation of the quoted
principle of incompatibility and on the other hand creates – as reported in the above mentioned
complaints – the clear violation of any principle of impartiality or transparency - as also ratified by
Articles 23, Item 1b and 33, Item 3 of the CONI Constitution, is cause for doubts of honesty and
guarantee regarding the normal execution of national sporting competitions;
HAVING NOTED that the said breach should have involved – as provided by quoted Article 7, Item 5,
letter f) of the CONI Constitution - prescribed requirements for the purpose of avoiding the
abovementioned cases of incompatibility, in order to guarantee normal execution of national sports
competitions;
HAVING NOTED also that CONI with letter dated 22nd December 2010 had put forward to the
Chairman of F.I.D.S. a request for documentary clarification with reference to the administrative
investigation which took place at the association;
HAVING NOTED that in its administrative activity and comments with regard to same the National
Committee has already considered these matters in the meetings of 22nd July 2010 and 14th October
2010, and that further to the provisions set out during the meeting of 14th October 2010, and of the
partial clarifications not considered sufficient by the subsequent National Committee of 16th
December 2010, the letter dated 22nd December 2010 has been forwarded to the Chairman of F.I.D.S.
requesting further clarification in writing.
HAVING NOTED that to the above mentioned letter of 22nd December 2010 there has been no reply
as noted in the letter of 28th January 2011 from the General Secretary of CONI, who has also advised
the Chairman of F.I.D.S. both that CONI had received a series of complaint reports having as their
object the sports coach management of the Association and that further to complaint reports (also
forwarded to CONI) the Federal Prosecutor had declared his intention to carry out the customary
investigations and that on the matters reported had lodged report with the Office of the Public
Prosecutor of the Italian Republic at the Court of Rimini.
HAVING NOTED that on 7th February a note from the Secretary General of F.I.D.S. was received with
attached Report of same date from the Federal Prosecutor who – reaffirming the principle of non
culpability until the result of the disciplinary procedure – has anticipated objections with regard to
the Federal Chairman, two Federal Members, various Federal Managers, various Competition Judges,
Associations and Athletes, with reference to possible breaches of the principles of loyalty, honesty
and integrity within the area of sporting events;
HAVING CONSIDERED that this disciplinary procedure appears to implicate all federal members;
HAVING NOTED that, as advised by the General Secretary of the Association by a letter dated 7th
February 2011, on the occasion of the meeting of the Federal Committee of F.I.D.S. of 6th February
2011, on the conclusion of works of the Extraordinary Assembly, the Federal Chairman
Coni
A true and correct copy of
the original
Office for Collective
Bodies
Alessandro Cherubini
[Signature]
Mr Ferruccio Galvagno tendered his resignation from the position and, consequently, in accordance
with Article 32 of the Constitution of F.I.D.S. the entire Federal Committee ceased to exist;
HAVING NOTED again from the above mentioned letter from the General Secretary which indicates
that at the meeting of the 6th February 2011, the Federal Committee, in accordance with Article 33 of
the Federal Constitution, resolved to call an Extraordinary Election Meeting on the 26th day of March
2011;
HAVING CONSIDERED that the above mentioned matters embody serious irregularities in
management and serious breaches of sporting regulations as well as a confirmed non-adoption on
the part of the Association of statutory and/or prescribed regulations, which assume an obvious
significance for the essential required guarantee to regulate the execution of national sporting
competitions;
HAVING NOTED that the above mentioned situations obviously suggest, before arriving at renewal of
the Federal Bodies, the regularization of the management of administration of the Association, as
well as adoption of measures – by approval of any statutory and/or prescribed regulations – with the
goal of reducing any issue of incompatibility between Competition Judges and Instructors and
Federal Coaches;
HAVING NOTED that the above mentioned activity will involve the need to adopt on the part of the
Association of an independent Sector for Competition Judges, in order to comply with the basic
principle of every sporting activity of impartiality and transparency;
HAVING CONSIDERED therefore that the provisions for convocation of the Meeting adopted by the
Federal Committee in the above meeting of 5th February 2011 must be revoked;
HAVING CONSIDERED that the above situation can be fully ascribed to the provisions as per Article 7,
item 5, letter r), of the CONI Constitution, determining the conditions for an immediate intervention
by the Committee;
HAVING NOTED that Luca Pancalli (lawyer) who is in possession of the required requisites, declared
his availability to undertake the position of Extraordinary Committee Member with F.I.D.S.;
to nominate as its Extraordinary Committee Member to the Italian DanceSport Association lawyer
Luca Pancalli, Vice-Chairman of CONI, so that with all the powers of the Chairman, Federal
Committee and of the Committee of the Chairman’s Office arranges – with immediate effect – he
may guarantee the normal management of federal activities adopting, as highlighted above, all the
necessary measures with new statutory and/or prescribed regulations for the purpose of
Coni
A true and correct copy of
the original
Office for Collective
Bodies
Alessandro Cherubini
[Signature]
regularizing the position of Competition Judges, and subsequent convocation and conducting of the
Extraordinary Meeting for the reconstitution of Federal Bodies;
The Committee Member may be assisted by Deputy Committee Members to be nominated by CONI,
by agreement with the Committee Member.
The National Committee appoints the Chairman of CONI for possible nomination of Deputy
Committee Members.
The Committee Member’s term of office will expire on reconstitution of the Federal Bodies, within
180 days from the date of ratification of this resolution by the National Committee of CONI.
This resolution will be subjected to ratification by the National Committee in accordance with Article
7, item 5 letter r) of the CONI Constitution.
SECRETARY
[Signed Raffaele Pagnozzi]
I hereby certify this to be a true and
accurate translation from Italian into
English of the copy before me,
completed to the best of my
knowledge and ability:
MARIA ANTONIETTA SCHIAVONE
NAATI Accredited Translator
- Italian <-> English NAATI No. 4368
MARIA ANTONIETTA SCHIAVONE
Apartment 56, The Edge
Apartments
8 Hordern Street
Victoria Park WA 6100
Data: 18 March 2011
 
#8
remember this is only one side of the coin... and allegations of winners choosen before the start of an event are not limited to IDSF.
There have always been and always will be such rumour but how often has an official complaint been made to the Police and a Federal Prosecutor investigating? The person who made the complaint was not connected to the WDC member in Italy. They are a FIDS Member and an IDSF Licensed Adjudicator and IDSF Licensed Chairman. I wonder will "are" become "were"?

Of course we all have to wait for the results of the Police Investigation but in the meantime the Italian media continue to report. Might it not have been better for IDSF to hold off until completion of the investigations rather than to come out with a statement that has ignited the flames once again?
 
#9
As I read into this, there are a couple of considerations:

There problems on all sides, the WDC and the IDSF, and their member organizations. There will always be problems. Problems bring about solutions and transformations.

When it comes to legal proceedings it is proper to let them run their course. Like much of the World, here in the USA, we extend a fundamental right that people are considered innocent until proven guilty. There have been cases where people seemed TOTALLY guilty, but looking back we realized there was a mistake. There are also cases where people are made to be guilty through association, but often we don't know the extent of the association, or maybe if they are part of the solution, not the problem.

The main thing here is we have to let things play out. I think it is good to publish these letters when they are coming from official sources, such as the IDSF or WDC or even Freedom to Dance.

I will go so far as to comment that things are not looking good for Galvagno, and certain members of the IDSF. I will also go so far as to say that very reputable people have made accusations, both public and private, about the fixing of judges marks, or requiring that judges fix marks.

What we have to avoid is naming specific individuals and saying "this person" or "this organization" is guilty or bad or dishonest. We must be respectful of the process, and also trust that there are some very good people that are looking out for us, and will protect ballroom dancing with every ounce of their soul.
 
#10
I do not live in Italy and I do not know Italian Law but I think it would be similar to most countries. The Rimini Federal Prosecutor must have had some material (evidence) provided that convinced them an investigation was necessary.

I feel it is wrong to try to discredit people because they have gone to the Police, and even more wrong to level charges against the WDC.
 

DL

Well-Known Member
#11
I feel it is wrong to try to discredit people because they have gone to the Police, and even more wrong to level charges against the WDC.
Who's trying to discredit who?

The legal proceedings no doubt are tough on everyone involved. If DF acts as a peanut gallery things won't be any easier for anyone involved -- there are more ways to cause unhappiness than happiness, by going down that road.

I will go so far as to say that it's a pity that a way hasn't been found -- despite the efforts of many smart people in many organizations over many years -- to construct a judging system that *provably* and *straightforwardly* avoids even the appearance of impropriety. It's tough for everybody when legal proceedings arise.
 

DL

Well-Known Member
#12
WRT press releases of IDSF President.

It is now time for IDSF to acklnowledge the existance and importance of the oldest body in dance and work for peace. To work for the development of dance for the benefit of everyone who loves the Waltz, Tango, Vienniese Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble and Jive and the many other dances .

I'm pretty naive in high-level dance industry goings on. Please tell me if I'm all wet.

It seems to me that there's another way to look at things, I guess. There are two rival global organizations, with significant economic interests, that are competing with each other.

Nobody is surprised when, say, Apple and Google smartphone apps aren't interchangeable -- nor when they go to court in disputes over details of how the development, delivery, and device support for those apps are provided.

Somehow I guess that sort of competition is inherently uglier and more personal in the more tightly-knit dance community.
 
#14
It all comes out in the wash eventually.

Pity the different groups can't get along & spend so much money & time on politics - the only people who suffer in the end are those who want to dance & compete.
 
#15
I'm pretty naive in high-level dance industry goings on. Please tell me if I'm all wet.

It seems to me that there's another way to look at things, I guess. There are two rival global organizations, with significant economic interests, that are competing with each other.

Nobody is surprised when, say, Apple and Google smartphone apps aren't interchangeable -- nor when they go to court in disputes over details of how the development, delivery, and device support for those apps are provided.

Somehow I guess that sort of competition is inherently uglier and more personal in the more tightly-knit dance community.
Agreed, should there be a conclusion to the legal proceedings, we should publish that story, but until then, we can't go around discrediting people. It's not about protecting people. It's about protecting the human right of presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law. Obviously, that process is proceeding.
 
#16
Who's trying to discredit who?
I absolutely understand that things are open to individual interpretation but it seems to my way of thinking that these words which come from an IDSF Press Release dated 18th March attempt to discredit a particular gentleman. He is a FIDS member, an IDSF Licenced Adjudictor and an IDSF Licensed Chairman of Adjudicators. These words have been placed in the public domain by IDSF.

This campaign against FIDS, from what we know, has been promoted vigorously by WDC based on the WDC campaign slogan “Freedom To Dance”. The campaign started about two years ago by Mr. Pregnolato who was formerly a responsible official inside FIDS and served as head of their academy. His position was terminated by FIDS, and subsequently Mr. Pregnolato was very critical of FIDS and Mr. Galvagno. We have received information that a group which shares Mr. Pregnolato’s opinions started a public relations campaign against FIDS and Galvagno in Italy and have spent large sums of money on publishing their opinions in important Italian media and TV as well as sending numerous letters to CONI complaining about the FIDS judging system and the fact that FIDS would not tolerate FIDS athletes supporting some major competitions in England.
! wonder what exactly does "from what we know" mean? There was a group set up at Facebook called Freedom to Dance after the UK Open in Bournemouth in January 2010 but to my knowledge Mr Pregnalato was not involved and the World Dance Council are not involved in the group and nor are their Presidium members. It is also important to remember that the WDC operate an "Open Market Policy".

Just as we should all wait before condeming people should the IDSF not also refrain till the Court make judgment? That seems fair to me.

However the story and charge and counter charge are in the media and not only the dance media.
Nobody is surprised when, say, Apple and Google smartphone apps aren't interchangeable
DL I agree with you but is it not fact that if you buy an Apple phone Google do not ban you from owning or using their product? Just as if you stay in Hilton Hotels Marriott Hotels do not ban you from their premises.
 
#17
The IDSF is going through some transition now. As I stated before, we are not going to condone people saying that an organization or person is bad. There are serious charges that are being handled by the courts. We are not the courts. If there is an official document where someone was banned, it would be fine to provide that story. We will not condemn the IDSF here. We will wait for the courts judgement. If the IDSF needs to refrain from doing something, again the proper authorities will need to make these arrangements (ex. the police or justice system).

Personally, I don't like a lot of what the IDSF and FIDS have done recently, but I also know that some VERY smart people are helping to insure that this is dealt with properly. I am not that person, nor are you.

Finally, be aware that there are some very good people (and dancers) in both the IDSF and FIDS. It is our duty not to condemn a group of people. This is going to get worked out. Give it some time.
 

DL

Well-Known Member
#18
I started to reply to additional points, but DanceMentor made a better point in a better way, than what I found myself writing.

As for this:

DL I agree with you but is it not fact that if you buy an Apple phone Google do not ban you from owning or using their product? Just as if you stay in Hilton Hotels Marriott Hotels do not ban you from their premises.

If your favorite app doesn't run on your favorite phone, you're out of luck. If you have loyalty program points at one hotel chain but must stay in a hotel operated by a competing chain, you won't get the free room upgrade.

I don't want to see the dance world fragmented. I'm just saying that this sort of thing happens all the time in all sorts of industries.
 
#19
If there is an official document where someone was banned, it would be fine to provide that story.
Please could I ask if you have read reports as to the number of court cases the IDSF member in Russia has lost through their banning couples? They however still pursue their banning policy.
These have often been reported in the "News" section on a Russian dancesport website with full details as to the Couples, the Courts and the rulings.
I cannot provide an official dosument as people simply receive a private letter but children from England 10, 12 years old have been banned by IDSF. I personally know Swiss dancers who have received "the" banning letter.

we are not going to condone people saying that an organization or person is bad..
This is not what I am trying to do. This entire business is being talked and written about in many countries. Leading figures are making public statements now. Once a public statement is issued in the form of a Press Release then surely the words can be examined? Should the words become taboo? I hope with all my heart that we never in our world reach the stage where one cannot discuss a problem unless you are the person who can solve that problem.

There is no argument from me that we have some VERY smart people and some vey good people in the world of dance with some working very hard indeed.

DL. You are correct again but the point I was attempting to make is that in other industries you are not banned for using the services of a competitor. .... Our dance business is a relatively minor one and there is no doubt in my mind that even if the 2 main bodies exist as individual organisations they could co-operate which would be far more beneficial for all. The consumer should be respected.
 

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