Ivanchuk not penalized

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IvanchukVassily Ivanchuk will not be penalized for his missed drug test at the Dresden Olympiad. The reason is a procedural error: an official Doping Control Officer was not present when Ivanchuk was asked to be tested. The decision was made by the FIDE Hearing Panel, yesterday in Wijk aan Zee.

In the final round of the Dresden Olympiad, the Ukraine men‚Äôs team, almost sure of a medal and with good chances for gold, got beaten 3¬?-¬? by the USA and finished 4th. Terribly disappointed, Vassily Ivanchuk did not attend a doping control afterwards.

According to regulations, the Ukrainian number risked a two-year ban from FIDE tournaments. However, yesterday it was decided that Ivanchuk won't be penalized. The good news for Ivanchuk and his many fans can be found at the FIDE website. The statement in full:


FIDEWijk aan Zee (NED), January 21, 2009

Drug testing is still relatively rare in chess. However, it does occur in various official events and was carried out during the course of the Dresden Olympiad. Unfortunately, a high proportion of the tests were scheduled during the last round and there was a lack of personnel, which lead to a procedural error: there was not a designated Doping Control Officer present at this match (USA v Ukraine).

After losing a crucial game for his country, Mr Ivanchuk was distraught. The Hearing Panel concludes that although the arbiter attempted to inform Mr Ivanchuk in English that he should accompany him for a doping test, Mr Ivanchuk apparently failed to understand the instructions, especially since English is not Mr Ivanchuk’s first language. If there had been a Doping Control Officer present, he would have immediately gone to Mr Ivanchuk’s board and there would have been communication between him and Mr Ivanchuk. In that case the outcome might have been different. Because there was no notification by the Doping Control officer, there was no refusal in the sense of the regulations.

The Conclusion: 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.


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