Zurab Azmaiparashvili: "I Am Not Defending Cheats - I Only Want to Follow the Rules and Respect Human Rights"

Время публикации: 06.05.2015 21:12 | Последнее обновление: 06.05.2015 23:47

On his Facebook page, the ECU President, Zurab Azmaiparashvili, has published a text, in which he further expounds his view on the Nigalidze affair.

"Today, following the publication of selected parts of my interview with the Georgian newspaper on the website chess-news.ru, I was subject to accusations of allegedly defending Gaioz Nigalidze, what is far from truth. First, I have always considered him guilty of misconduct and requested for punishment! Second, the original interview was relatively long and subject to edition, possibly introducing a number of misconceptions and altering the ultimate messages to be delivered. Therefore, I would like to apologize for any misunderstanding.

However, we need to carefully consider the proposed penalties as they may have long-term and unforeseen consequences. I believe it is helpful to bear in mind the global practice of court of law. It is almost unheard to charge the accused with the maximum sentence unless the latter is considered a malicious recidivist. What is more, the court always takes into account the circumstances surrounding the case as well as the degree of cooperation with investigations.

Hence, I suggested for a total disqualification of 1-2 years rather than the maximum penalty of up to 3 years, acknowledging the consequences on future career goals and professional life (actually, I compared the case with a renown French movie ‘two men in town’ starring Alain Delon and Jean Gabin).

Hereby I would like to point out that this represents my opinion, an opinion of a man with vast experience and past mistakes who tends to give everyone a second chance for the better change. This is in striking contrast with the opinion of the “bloodthirsty” who request for lifelong disqualification. For clarification, FIDE Ethics Committee states that any first episode of misconduct be subject to a maximum of 3 years of penalty, and demanding a lifelong ban goes beyond and disobeys with existing regulations. One may disagree with the appropriateness of current regulations and this may be a valid subject for a separate debate, however, one should refrain from using the argument for political reasons.

I would also like to touch on the unprecedented case of Sebastian Feller and the cheating scheme unveiled by the French Chess Federation. Surprisingly, nobody talks about the heroic action of the Federation acting against its own player. Here follows a rhetoric question – are there many chess federations that would have acted the same way as did the French?

Additionally, I would like to clarify the meaning of ‘minor’ doping that I used in my original interview. Generally doping scandals in sports comprise the complicated schemes involving a variety of institutions and national federations, rather than individual based actions. Thanks god, chess has not been subject to such schemes and there is still time to work in the right direction. Also, the ultimate goals of doping are rather different and target higher and more prestigious achievements.

In conclusion, do not get me wrong - I am neither defending cheaters nor against their punishment, However, I call for abidance by the regulations and observance of human rights!"


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