Triple Olympic medallist and five-time World Championship medallist, rifle shooter Rajmond Debevec, has upped the fight against the Abhinav Bindra-led International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Athletes Committee (AC) for recommending dropping the Men’s 50m Rifle Prone, 50m Pistol and Double Trap events from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic curriculum.
The ISSF is taking the radical step to maintain “gender equality” in Olympic programme, which means equal number of events for both men and women at the mega event.
One of the most decorated shooters in the world with 80 World Cup medals, 32 of them gold, Debevec has gone to the extent of saying that the constitution of the Bindra-chaired AC is “not legal” in the first place.
He says that as per the structure of the Athletes Committee (Edition 2013, 4th print 03/2016; pages 123 and 124), the committee is only meeting one of the three mandatory requirements, while failing on the other two counts.
The 2000 Sydney Olympic gold-medallist, a veteran with nearly more than three decades of competitive shooting, quotes from Rule 2.1 which says, “The ISSF Athletes Committee must be composed of seven members, four of them elected by the athletes participating in the ISSF World Championships which are held every four years, and three members appointed by the ISSF Executive Committee.”
Sub-rule 2.1.1 says, “In addition to the four elected athletes, the three additional athletes will be appointed by the ISSF Executive Committee as equal members of the committee in order to guarantee a balance between continents, genders and disciplines.”
The catchwords here are “Continents”, “Genders” and “Shooting Disciplines”.
Analysing the Athletes Committee structure, he says that while the “Shooting Discipline” criteria is in conformity with the ISSF rules, the “Continental” and “Gender” criteria have been violated.
He says that the international shooting body, which is so much concerned about “gender equality” in the Olympic Games, has itself blatantly violated the laid out rules while constituting the Athletes Committee.
“To fulfil gender balance, the Executive Committee should have appointed 2 or 3 ladies (to get 3:4 or 4:3 balance between genders) instead of only 1. This is a failure of the ISSF Executive Committee.” (See Table)
Giving details of the constitution of the Athletics Committee, Debevec says, “Based on the elections at the World Championships at Granada in 2014, four athletes were elected directly (http://www.issf-sports.org/news.ashx?newsid=2198). They are Zorana Arunovic, Abhinav Bindra, Henri Junghänel, Marco De Nicolo.
“According to Article 2.1.1, three additional athletes were appointed by the ISSF Executive Committee as equal members of the committee in order to guarantee a balance between continents, genders and disciplines. So the additional three Athletes Committee members became Nasser Al-Attiya, Jong Oh Jin and Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova (who won 5th to 7th place in the elections).”
Analysing the structure further, Debevec says that, “None of the three additional appointed should have come from Europe as there were 3 of 4 direct elected athletes from Europe already (There is no representation from the Americas, Africa or Oceania). But the ISSF made an additional appointed from Europe. (See Table)
“So the conclusion could be that the structure of the Athletes Committee isn’t legal. The other conclusion could be the Athletes Committee structure isn’t in a spirit of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Agenda 2020 reaching gender equality.”
“Another failure of the ISSF Executive Committee!” he concludes.
3x rifle, 2x pistol, 2x shotgun — In compliance with ISSF Art. 2.1.1./balance between disciplines
4x Europe, 3x Asia — Not in compliance with ISSF Art. 2.1.1 /balance between continents
5x men, 2x ladies — Not in compliance with ISSF Art. 2.1.1. /balance between genders.
(Note: X represents Athletes Committee members)
Structure of Athletes Committee:
Chairman: Abhinav Bindra, IND / Rifle
Nasser Al-Attiya, QAT / Skeet
Ms. Zorana Arunovic, SRB / Pistol
Marco De Nicolo, ITA / Rifle
Jong Oh Jin, KOR / Pistol
Henri Junghänel, GER / Rifle
Mrs. Zuzana Rehak Stefecekova, SVK / Trap