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the inquisition

csabi

inquisitionYou may remember the America’s Cup Disciplinary Panel that was assembled hastily in response to King Post-gate;  the haphazard hearings and rulings they produced led to lawsuits and CAS hearings that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to litigate.  Meanwhile, the resulting media exposure (along with the Rio sewer and security issues) continued to push ISAF World Sailing’s reputation into the same steaming pile of shit occupied by FIFA and the Russian Anti-Doping Authority.

With most of the AC34 cases have been settled or dismissed, we’ve just learned that World Sailing’s response to the disciplinary chaos was to quietly sneak through the completely new Discplinary, Appeals, and Review Code sometime in June, and it is quite possibly the most lopsided, authoritarian, and opaque set of disciplinary rules we’ve ever come across.

We say ‘sneak through’ because we cannot find a single reference to passing the new code in any of ISAF World Sailing’s official documents.  Even more curiously, ISAF says the new rules were passed in June 2016 but are backdated to have an effective date of January 2016, and the only June ISAF Minutes available anywhere make zero mention of the new Rule 35.  Now, it may be hidden inside the giant, disorganized clusterfuck that is World Sailing’s website, but we’ve asked every major MNA official and judge we could find – including several national presidents and IJs – if they’ve heard of it -, and all of them learned of the new Code from us.  It’s not some kind of a minor change either – the new section of the Rules allows autonomous, unappealable panels to decide who will be banned from the sport using incredibly low standards of proof, offers next to no standards on the admissibility of evidence, and allows any decision to be hidden in secrecy based solely on the discretion of one of these ‘secret panels’.  In other words, ISAF has said ‘fuck you’ to the entire notion of a Fair Hearing under the jurisprudence of any modern nation.

Never mind that much of the new Code would be void and unenforceable under the employment laws of the EU and numerous states and countries, and never mind that ISAF can’t even be bothered to use a pronoun other than ‘him’ in their code.  There are ample things to pick apart with this unconscionable piece of regulation, and we’ll leave it to the lawyers and sea lawyers in the Forums.

But we do consider it our public duty to let you know that from now on, your entry in any sailing event is your acquiescence in a set of rules that would be more appropriate under Torquemada than of a 21st century international sport.  We also consider it our duty to let you know that Carlo Croce, who is not only President of the ISAF but also President of the Italian Sailing Federation and Italy’s most prestigious Yacht Club, is going to run for another term leading our sport.  This despite his tenure providing an almost unending series of gaffes and missteps that’s seen ISAF World Sailing’s reputation go from exlusionary and obsolete to incompetent and corrupt.  Croce said in the mid-year meeting that “Much has been achieved but he has a sense of ‘unfinished business…”

We’re not sure our sport can survive Croce’s ‘unfinished business.’  World Sailing’s reputation sure can’t.  Title shout to Mel Brooks...

 

 

csabi

September 8th, 2016

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