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The ESC Presidium is set to keep a close eye on Juries and referees

After the conclusion of the 2015 European Shotgun Championship the ESC Presidium got information about some irregularities and incidents that had happened there but had not been made public nor had attracted due attention of the officials during the competitions. Certain reports were requested that allowed open a discussion on measures necessary to prevent from possibility of such irregularities and incidents in future. Special attention was paid to the fact that among nine referees who worked at the European Championship were representatives of only two countries. Seven of them, including the chief referee, were from Italy and two - from Cyprus.



During the Skeet Men Junior Semi-Finals the Jury, lead by Mr. Per Biornar Moen, checked three cartridges of each shooter and found out that one cartridge of the Italian shooter Gabriele Rossetti weighted 24,6 grams. It means it exceeded the maximum allowed by ISSF Rule by 0,1 gram. By the moment the Jury had gotten results of the cartridge control the competitions were in full progress. That is why, according to point “C” of the ISSF Rule, Rossetti should have been immediately disqualified. However, the Jury chose differently and did not follow the Rules. Members of the Jury emptied pockets of the shooter, made sure that there were no more cartridges of the brand used by him at the range though he had used a considerable part of them already, and allowed him to continue competitions with other cartridges that he received from his coach.

It is important to add that in the second portion of cartridges taken from Rossetti one more cartridge happened to weight 24,6 grams. However, the Jury again did not implement measures described in the ISSF Rule and allowed Rossetti to compete in the Finals. The Jury justified its decision that all other cartridges were according to the norm. The Jury has also put forward concerns about the precision of the scales, even though it was the last day of the European Championship and there had been no doubts about correctness of the scales before. Or it could mean that all previous controls should be considered doubtful.  

During shoot-offs for the Medal Matches in Skeet Men the chief referee Mr. Ioannis Heracleous (Cyprus) determined first “a miss” on the second target of a return double at station 3 by Italian shooter Luigi Lodde. The side referees did not oppose this decision. But the Italian coach Andrea Benelli immediately started to shout out and the chief referee denounced his first decision by declaring “a hit” after consultations with the side referees who this time confirmed a “hit”. The same happened during second double at station 4 while shooting another Italian Riccardo Filippelli.

As Mr. Heracleous explained later it is a normal practice for him after every target, before giving his final decision, to turn towards the side referees to ascertain his ruling. The problem in this case is that both side referees were from Italy. They approved the second Mr. Heracleous’s decision and it strongly influenced on the results of the competitions.

Before commencement of Skeet Men competitions the Jury took for control cartridges of all participants. After this, according to the Rules, the remaining cartridges can be taken only by the shooters. However, the Italian coach Andrea Benelli took in his hands the boxes with cartridges of his shooters, went aside from the Jury table and then returned the boxes at their place. After beginning of shooting at station 3 Luigi Lodde approached his box with cartridges, took two cartridges out of it and put them in his breast pocket. Unfortunately, the referees did not pay attention to this maneuver. 

On August 8, 2014 the ESC President invited the Presidium to vote on measures that are necessary to guarantee that the competitions are held in a spirit of fair play and that really the best shooters access the podium. As first steps to achieve the goal the Presidium decided to summarize proposals of amendments in the Rules and send them to the ISSF as well as to attract attention of the companies that produce ammunition to the necessity of strengthening control of their products because any manufacturing flaw may lead to punishment of athletes.

The ESC Presidium will come back with discussion of possible decisions, including sanctioning of some officials, during the next meeting on November 30, 2014.

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