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The ESC President has addressed manufacturers of Shotgun cartridges with a request to strengthen production control

Following the decision of the Presidium Mr. Vladimir Lisin has addressed manufacturers of Shotgun cartridges to strengthen production control in the best interest of the athletes.

In the beginning of his letter to key executives of FIOCCHI, RC EXIMPORT Srt, BASCHIERI & PELLAGRI Spa, CLEVER, OLYMPIA, VICTORY, CHEDDITE Srl, SELLIER BELLOT, GAMEBORE CARTRIDGE Co. Ltd and MAXAM OUTDOORS the ESC President has underlined that the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) and the European Shooting Confederation (ESC) are doing their best to make our Olympic sport transparent and honest and guarantee that only the best shooters access the podium. That is why measures are being taken which aim to exclude any possibility of manipulation with equipment or the use of cartridges that do not correspond to the allowed parameters.

It is also reminded in the letter that the weight of the shot charge for Shotgun cartridges, in general terms, must be 24 grams. At the same time it is understood that in any production process there is a technically allowable tolerance. So, due to this reason the upper limit was established to +0,5 gram. That is precisely why article 9.4.3. of the ISSF Rules which specifies the technical requirements of the Shotgun cartridges states that the shot charge of those cartridges must not exceed 24,5 grams. In case of detecting that an athlete uses cartridges that are not in accordance with the rules he/she must be disqualified.

With regrets, the ESC President has noted that in the last couple of years during a number of major competitions we were faced with cases where cartridges with shot charge exceeding the weight of 24,5 grams were found or the coding on the cartridges or on the cartridge box did not correspond to the contents. Such incidents were recorded, for example, at the 2013 ISSF Shotgun World Championships in Lima, Peru, the 2013 ISSF World Cup Final in Al-Ain (UAE) and the 2014 European Shotgun Championship in Sarlóspuszta, Hungary. In the majority of cases the athletes and their coaches referred to production flaws. This means that the over weighted shot charge or the wrong coding on the cartridges – is the result of mistakes of the production processes of the manufactures. It should be added that in a lot of cases such cartridges were bought at the Organizers’ storage shop from the officially supplied ammunition.   

All those factors obliged the ESC to attract the attention of the ISSF to the problem and to the necessity of solving it. Certain measures were taken. In particular, some changes were introduced in the procedures of the cartridge control where new technologically updated equipment was introduced which very quickly and precisely can determine if cartridges correspond to the allowed parameters. To this effect, during the 51st ISSF World Championship that recently took place in Granada, Spain, the shot charge of a considerable quantity of cartridges which were officially supplied by one of the producers, was found to exceed the allowed weight. One shooter who was found by the Equipment Control Jury to use cartridges with shot charge over 24,5 grams was officially disqualified from the competition.

In order to avoid such incidents and in the interest of our athletes, the ESC President urged all manufacturers of cartridges that can be used by participants in the ISSF and ESC supervised competitions, to ensure that all the supplied cartridges conform to the rules. He has also pointed out that any detected cases of over weighted cartridges might, on the one hand, lead to disqualification of athletes and on the other, might generate possible sanctions against the concerned manufacturer by the disqualified athletes (because one can’t be sure beyond any doubt that the coding of a product corresponds to the content and under normal circumstances the responsibility of this, falls entirely on the manufacturer).

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