Drug Testing: Chess Federation Caves, Ivanchuk Will Not Be Suspended

As we noted three weeks ago, the chess world was in turmoil over drug testing in a simmering spat sparked afresh by the threatened suspension of a popular and well-known grandmaster for failing to stop to take a drug test after storming out of the chess hall upon losing an important match. Now, we can report that the chess federation has come to its senses.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/vassily-ivanchuk.jpg
Vassily Ivanchuk (courtesy wikimedia.org)
In what most consider a quixotic bid to get chess included as an Olympic sport, the World Chess Federation, usually referred to by its French acronym, FIDE, began drug testing chess players. Such testing is required in Olympic sports. Players had grumbled about and ridiculed the policy in the past, but the issue blew up in FIDE's face at last year's Chess Olympiad in Dresden.

There, Ukrainian Grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk was leading his team to a medal, perhaps even the gold, in the last round. But instead of victory, Ivanchuk and the Ukrainians lost, and a furious and distraught Ivanchuk stormed out of the building -- right past a FIDE official waiting to give him a random urine test. Ivanchuk said he did not realize the man was an official, but FIDE decided to convene a hearing on his failure to take the drug test. Under FIDE rules, he could have been suspended for up to two years.

In a January 20 hearing conducted by FIDE during the Corus tournament in the Netherlands, in which Ivanchuk is participating, the panel heard testimony that there was no "designated doping control officer," validating Ivanchuk's claim he did not know the man was a drug testing official. The panel also noted that the FIDE official spoke to Ivanchuk in English, not his native language, and that Ivanchuk was upset at the time.

In its decision rendered the same day, the panel concluded: "The procedural error allied with Mr Ivanchuk's state of mind led him unintentionally to miss the test. The Hearing Panel therefore concludes unanimously that there should be no penalty."

Given the ridicule and anger generated in the chess community over the whole Ivanchuk fiasco, that was a very politic decision indeed.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School