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Leaked sailing documents confirm IFDS submitted bad numbers to IPC for 2020 Games inclusion

Sailing pictogram
The most recent leaked sailing application documents by Reinstate Paralympic Sailing into 2020 Games.  Image credit: Reinstate Paralympic Sailing into 2020 Games

The most recent leaked sailing application documents by Reinstate Paralympic Sailing into 2020 Games. Image credit: Reinstate Paralympic Sailing into 2020 Games

In a recently leaked document by Reinstate Paralympic Sailing into 2020 Games from the second round of the 2020 Paralympic Games sport inclusion application process, IPC comments make clear that the IFDS submitted bad numbers that tried to inflate participation numbers for sailing to get it to the magical 32 number.



Problems with the participation numbers are clearly spelled out in this newly leaked document, saying, “IFDS includes Blind Sailing statistics as well as Multi-Hull and Access classes.  Neither of these events is Paralympic with Access being a designated entry-level class.”  The IPC concludes the participation section with, “Even a generous review of the numbers results in a total of 30 countries practicing the sport at the performance level.  Score remains red.”


In light of new ISAF Disability Sailing Committee President Bernard Destrubé’s comments about arguing before the IPC that sailing should be considered a team sport, nothing in this document indicates such an argument was presented, nor the merits of this argument.  IFDS Executive Committee meeting documents make clear that Destrubé was the lead inside the organization for the failed Paralympic application.


The document also highlights that the IFDS only had direct control over one major disability sailing event: The World Championships.  The IPC points out that the World Cup events, which are used as part of IFDS ranking, are held in conjunction with ISAF.  The IPC criticizes organizational actions around ISAF organized events, saying, “entries/results have not been captured systematically.”  The IPC does not however that “The merger with ISAF is projected to improve reporting of these competitions.”  As a result, the IPC changed the score from red to Amber.


The evidence about mismanagement inside the IFDS when it came to handling the application is more damaging than previously revealed because of alleged governance issues involved.  The IPC says in the document, “Several national programmes are not conducted by a proper member federation but by non-profit sailing organizations.  These are often not at the performance level but focus on a sport-for-all approach.”


The IPC also notes that there was no substantial changes related to the rules and regulations component as discussed in the first round, and the status for that assessment category remained amber. Changes from the first to the second round include dropping concerns about website data, and medical and health initiatives. The IFDS provided the IPC with that information between submission rounds.

Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2569 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees. She has a PhD in Communications from the University of Canberra.

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