World Armsport Federation
December 17, 1998
WAF MEMBERSHIP and INTERESTED PARTIES
Greetings to every one and Seasonal greetings to those who celebrate the holidays. It is a very busy time of year for everyone and there is much work to do.
The first thing we want clear in everyones mind is that WAF is the chosen vehicle to represent armsports in the world. There is no other organization, nor is there any formation of any new organization as some people are trying to make others believe. The only thing that has changed is the Pres. and the General Sec of WAF. This was decided democratically at this years WAF Congress. With this having been made clear, let us go on.
To clarify the structure of WAF and its mandate as well as the Continental bodies and their mandates, we will draw a graph to represent the flow of WAF. WAF was not formed to control armwrestling, but to represent it as a unified body globally. It will represent the interests of the continental bodies to the proper organizations such as the IOC and GASIF. It will implement the guidelines, rules and oversee the world championships. It will also act as consultant to the Continental bodies. The Continental bodies on the other hand were formed to control armwrestling on their respective continents. They are the political bodies that represent each country of their respective continent. Each country can only be represented by one national organization, although there can be several armwrestling organizations within each country. It is up to each country to control their organizations within themselves. If there becomes an issue that they cannot resolve in their country, then they must go to their Continental body and ask them to help resolve the issues. Each continent should host a Continental Championship and Congress each year. This acts as a practice session for them and it should help to identify any problems, which can be solved democratically at their Congress. This process in turn will help WAF concentrate on promoting armsports at the World level.
Following is the graph.
As you can see, this is easy to follow and it shows where the responsibilities lie with each Continental body and the head of WAF. These people also form the Board of Directors for WAF. The President and General Secretary positions are on an interim basis until the Year 2000 elections. The Board of Directors is formed from the heads of the Continental bodies. Whichever Continental head that is chosen as President of WAF passes his position as head of that particular Continental body to his Vice-pres. until he has fulfilled his term as WAF president. The General Secretary does not necessarily have to be a Continental leader, but someone who is capable and competent in that position and can be from any country. The choice should be unanimous amongst the Board of Directors.
To further clarify what is happening in our world of Armsports, I will issue a report on each continental body based on information received from these continents. These reports are meant to be non-bias and non-threatening and are for your information so that you may make informed decisions.
EUROPEAN ARMSPORT FEDERATION Igor Akhmedshin, Pres.
There has been a lot happening in Europe, some good and some bad. First, so that people understand what is happening let it be known that we do not recognize anything politically that went on at the International tournament in Cairo, Egypt. IGOR AKHMEDSHIN is the Pres. of the European Armsport Fed.(EAF)There are a lot of ambitious people in Europe and we welcome them all with open arms. This is what makes our sport under proper democratic process so great.. We recognize the fact that Mr. Milan Capla of Slovakia means well and we are sure that under the new WAF direction he will fit in with its mandate. He will be a great resource person in his role as vice-pres of the EAF. Mr. Capla is also reminded to research his facts so that the members of the EAF are not misled by information that is not correct and by following his own advice, armsport will be better served. Mr. Ben Zion Bayer of Israel with his quest for recognition will continue to serve WAF well as a member of the IOC committee. His contacts are very valuable to WAF. Mr. Pavel Givora and Mr. Marat Gusev of Russia will be valuable asset to WAF, working side by side with Mr. Akhmedshin in the Russian Armsport Association (RAA). Mr. Francesco Jove Felio from Spain, who is always an outspoken member of WAF, released a scathing letter, which was very critical of many of his peers. Some of his information is not correct and we recognize the fact that many things lose their true meaning in translation from one language to another. Just for the record, when I spoke with Mr. Felio about the World fee at the EAF championships in Lithuania, he was told that we had given Mr. Das the money, but that Mr. Das had returned the check to us in Canada. We had the money in hand. Money was never the issue. After all, did I not travel to Lithuania? So, Mr. Felio, my hat off to you for having spoke out. Some of your issues are valid and Im sure they will be addressed as we proceed.
Europe has many valuable and intelligent people willing to represent armsports. The problem is to keep all these people informed. For someone to say you cannot associate with any other organization is ludicrous. If you dont associate and inform other organizations of what is happening within our organization how can these people make informed decisions? Mr. Das has been quoted to say " Association with any other organization is forbidden." and " Majority cannot prevail." No wonder there is so much confusion and dissention in our sport.
WAF recognizes the EAF congress held in Lithuania and the site of next years EAF championships which will be held in Belgium, hosted by WAF Interim General Sec, Mr. Willy Deneumostier. Mr. Deneumostier has released information and particulars of events happening in 1999. Good Luck to everyone in these endeavors.
Another burning issue which is happening not only in Europe, but all over the World is the issue of more than one organization from the same country wanting WAF recognition. I hope that the information provided at the beginning of this letter will help sort some of this out. Remember, only one national body representing armwrestling from each country can be represented at the WAF and Continental championships. So please, for the good of our sport, organize yourselves within your own countries first.
ASIAN ARMSPORT FEDERATION Mitsuo Endo, Pres.
This Continental body is growing very fast and it will take some good communication to keep it growing on the right path. Weve had requests from many Asian countries to affiliation with WAF. Mr. Dave Devoto, WAF Chairman for Memberships, under direction of the WAF Board of Directors has been putting these people in touch with each other with the same message passed on to all these people. This message again is to organize yourselves within your countries. Dont leave anybody out. Everyone has something to contribute. Associate with everyone so that everyone is informed. Mr. Fawad Subhani from Pakistan came with a team to the WAF worlds in Thunder Bay, Canada. Mr. Devoto has since gotten him in touch with other armsport groups in Pakistan. Thailand and Singapore have also contacted us for affiliation. WAF presently recognizes Mr. Yao Ang in Singapore and his name has been passed on. Thailand, having had several different requests also has been brought together. New groups from India have also contacted us for affiliation. India itself is a very large landmass with many people to represent. There is much work to do in this area as well.
Mr. Mitsuo Endo, in preparation for the 1999 WAF World armwrestling championships will be visiting several countries in this vast continent. He will be organizing new countries and existing countries with the help of WAF guidance. This will be a super world championship! To help cut costs for both the participating nations and the host country, the request has been made to have the championships over two days as opposed to three days. The request, we believe can be handled efficiently and professionally without loss of quality to the tournament or the athletes. We expect that this will be the format unless we have compelling reasons not to do it.
AFRICAN ARMSPORT FED. GENERAL OSMAN GHANY, PRES.
Another very large and relatively new continent to armsport, General Osman has a huge job ahead of him. It was very unfortunate of the confusion that surrounded the International Championship held in Cairo, Egypt this fall. The former WAF leadership is held responsible for this problem. If they had followed the membership requests, this tournament could have been a super success in the future. The organizing committee should have been spared all of the confusion and should have never been led on the way they were. We apologize to them on behalf of the new WAF leadership. We will work hard to continue the growth of the sport in these countries in a positive and honest fashion.
AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND ARMSPORT FED. DR. KARL AJAMI, PRES.
Brand new to the organized version of armwrestling, this continent will not take long to catch up to the others. They have been organizing for a short time now and Mr. Ajami who has a long list of credentials to his accomplishments will probably have his first teams involved at the Worlds in Japan. In correspondence and e-mail contacts it seems these people will be terrific competitors. Best of luck in your future and please keep in contact. We are here with guidance and any information you may require.
SOUTH AMERICAN ARMSPORT FED. HUMBERTO PANZETTI, PRES.
This continent was represented at the first WAF Worlds in 1979 by Brazil. The South American nations have brought with them a reputation of super competitors and very entertaining performances. They didnt disappoint us at the Worlds this year neither. They have been the leader in the handicap promotion and the longevity of their athletes never ceases to amaze us. Bolivia and Argentina are growing in strength and numbers as well. Its unfortunate Mr. Oscar Santos from Argentina came into WAF at a time when there was so much confusion. On behalf of the new WAF leadership we would like to extend an apology to you.
Mr. Panzetti continues to promote armwrestling, as it should be. He has requested changes in the weight classes we presently have in WAF. This request has received much resistance, but we will gather information from all the continents and make an educated and informed decision at the 1999 Congress in Japan. There are many pros and cons to this, but we believe changes will have to be made to make our sport more appealing to organizations such as IOC and GASIF. This request also has merit in the fact that smaller countries will be able to fill their teams as easy as the larger countries can. The cost factor to move large teams around the world is sometimes too much for smaller countries. We have to bring things to a manageable size. Give this some thought. You will here from us in the near future on this subject.
NORTH AMERICAN ARMSPORT FED. BILL COX, PRES.
Another large continent with borders from the Panama Canal to the Arctic in the north, we sure have our work cut out for us to. The center of many a conflict of interest we believe that we now have the formula for success. The following account will be the last time I speak to this issue, but it has to be told this last time! In the beginning of WAF, Canada as one of the founding countries and host to the first WAF Worlds in 1979, we always believed in fair representation to everyone. We also believed WAF was meant to represent the nations and athletes and to give guidance, not to try and control by totalitarian rule. Somehow along the way the good intention fell by the wayside and totalitarian rule did come into effect. In tracing the problem back to when it started, the times, dates and occurrences have all been documented. It was quite evident the problem lay in the leadership of Mr. Bob OLeary. Every problem existing in our WAF organization today can be directly related to his lack of leadership. We give him credit for being one of the organizing members of WAF. To hear him tell the history of WAF (depending on which edition of his versions you are reading) he is the sole responsible person for the creation of WAF. I believe he wasnt even present at the first Worlds. Nonetheless, we can give him sole responsibility for the problems we face today.
In the United States (U.S.A.) there was the problem of Mr. OLeary not wanting to allow any other armwrestling organizations to compete in WAF. It had to be his way or no way! His organization, the American Armwrestling Association (AAA) was suppose to be representing armsports in the United States. We all know the U.S.A. is a very large country. There are dozens of organizations in the U.S.A. and all were being neglected by the AAA. These organizations grouped together and formed an umbrella organization known as the United States Armsports (USA).
After exhausting every avenue in trying to have AAA join them and better represent the U.S.A., this organization approached me as President of the North American Armsport Fed. (NAAF). After I spoke to Mr. OLeary about this problem, he began a campaign to smear the United States ArmSports and I. He wouldnt pull his head out of the sand and deal properly with this problem. He enlisted Mr. Das in the conspiracy to smear myself, Mr. Akhmedshin and anyone who asked questions about what was going on. It became quite evident that Mr. OLeary had no intention to accommodate no one but himself.
Every avenue that should have been normally opened to resolve this type of issue in a democratic organization was closed by some conflict of interest. Further investigation discovered that the AAA was a solely owned corporation by Mr. OLeary and his wife. All monies raised by the AAA go to Mr. OLeary. It became quite evident again the reasons behind Mr. O'Leary's resistance to unifying anything in the U.S.A. All monies raised by the sale of the Armbender magazine went to Mr. OLeary. All advertising in the Armbender magazine was for products being sold by Mr. OLeary or companies owned by him. No advertising revenues were paid to WAF. Instead Mr. OLeary and Mr. Das schemed a plan for WAF to pay Mr. OLeary WAF money to further print free advertising for Mr. OLearys products paid for by WAF membership. More conflict of interest! No wonder these two people wanted so desperately to get rid of those of us who asked pointed questions!
Following is a short chronicle of highlights of Bob OLeary and Barij Baran Dass leadership history: (The letters "BO" will represent Bob OLeary and "BBD" will represent Mr. Das)
1989 Marion Nesmith resigns as WAF General Sec. At the urging of WAF membership, BBD who was Pres. of WAF at the time was asked to find a new General Sec. He suggests asking BO to take the position of Pres of WAF on an interim basis until 1992 elections.
1990 At the Congress BO accepts the interim position of Pres of WAF. BBD assumes interim position of General Sec.
1991 BBD releases a list of candidates eligible for the 1992 elections in Switzerland.
1992 BO and BBD conspire and manipulate to retain their positions. No election is held. As the countries are registering their teams, BO and BBD ask the country leaders to sign a blank page. They are told it is a roster list. Canada was never shown this roster at time of registration. This list shows up at the Congress as a proclamation that the undersigned support BO and BBD to remain in their respective positions of Pres and Gen Sec. They declare themselves into their positions.
1993 At Congress, BO assures U.S.A. have the Worlds for 1996. It later becomes apparent why he was so insistent as 1996 was another election year.
1994 BO and BBD ask me to attend the Golden Bear Tournament in Moscow on behalf of WAF. In attendance, there are many non-WAF organizations. Mr. Igor Akhmedshin arranges for us to speak to all these organizations and to a Russian Olympic Committee delegate. Results are very positive and non-WAF organizations join WAF and others want more information as to how to join WAF.
1995 As a result of the Golden Bear talks and as Pres. of NAAF, I become involved in trying to unify all the armwrestling entities in the U.S.A. Because of the conflict of interests that BO has, he begins accusing me of participating in non-WAF events. This was rather strange because the year before he asked me to attend nonWAF events.
1996 This was the first time we came close to having a democratic election. Although a few things didnt go as per the process, it was viewed as progress. BO was not head of a Continental body, nor was he ever elected as one therefore should not have been eligible to stand for election. Then we find out BO and BBD paid General Osman $1000.00 US of WAF money towards his airfare to make sure he attended this election year. This action biased the vote and it should have been nullified. AGAIN, BO and BBD proclaim themselves into their positions. The position of NAAF pres is passed to Mr. Ray Darling. I retain position of Vice Pres. of NAAF.
1997 After BBD is asked to clarify expenditures, which were significant, and none were authorized by the membership, BBD becomes very defensive. BBD, BO and the AAA conspire with bogus charges to try to remove me from WAF and the NAAF. In the process, they alienate Mr. Darling and he resigns in disgust over the tactics used by BO, AAA and BBD. These people continue their charade and they get Cathy Morrisson to take part in further conspiracy to try to replace me. Ms. Morrisson is tried and found guilty of conspiracy by a panel of her peers from the Canadian armwrestling Fed. She has since been suspended for a two-year period.
1998 BBD and BO arbitrarily move the Worlds from Canada to Egypt inspite of a unanimous vote by the membership to go to Canada. A majority of WAF membership show up in Canada and the official championship and Congress were held. BO and BBD have been removed from their positions.
It is very unfortunate that everything had to happen the way it did. I t could have been prevented if our former leaders would have had the best interest of WAF in mind instead of their self interest. We now have in place a group of dedicated democratic people. It will make a significant difference as we progress toward our ultimate goal, but first well have to make several adjustments.
Yours in Armwrestling;
FRED ROY, Interim PRES. WAF
Cc: WAF Membership
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