ISSF Statement on the decision taken by the ISSF Ethics Committee, in response to FITAV’s allegations

ISSF explain the background of the decision in reply to today’s press release of the Italian Shotgun Federation “FITAV”.

The ITALIAN SHOTGUN FEDERATION (“FITAV”) has issued today a press release fiercely criticizing the decision taken by the ISSF Ethics Committee against Mr. Luciano Rossi. In such statement, FITAV suggests that the decision was taken by the ISSF leadership because of Mr. Rossi’s political campaign in respect to the ISSF Presidential Election in November 2018. These allegations are completely incorrect and force the ISSF to further explain the background of the decision from which the ISSF refrained until today to protect Mr. Rossi’s interests. 


The ISSF Ethics Committee composed of three lawyers from three different countries with no relation to the ISSF or any of its members in accordance with Article 6.1 of the ISSF Code of Ethics based its decision to sanction Mr. Rossi in summary on the following conclusions. 


The ISSF Ethics Committee ruled that Mr. Rossi violated Article 2.2.1 of the ISSF Code of Ethics which stipulates that anyone being subject to this code has to disclose to the ISSF any circumstances which could cause an impression that private or personal interests might detract such person from their ability to perform their duties with integrity and in an independent manner. Despite such rule Mr. Rossi did not disclose to the ISSF his business relations with companies that deal in equipment and facilities used in the sport of shotgun shooting, during his internal and public fight against the ISSF proposal to delete from the Olympic program the shotgun discipline Double Trap Men in favor of a mixed gender team event in 10m Air Rifle. 


Moreover, the ISSF Ethics Committee found that Mr. Rossi’s behavior during several 2017 ISSF activities including the Extraordinary General Assembly (“EGA”) violated Articles 2.1.1 and 2.1.3 of the ISSF Code of Ethics. The Committee concluded in that respect that Mr. Rossi inter alia intentionally tried to mislead ISSF member federations by wrongly alleging the ISSF was planning to introduce laser shooting for the sake of his own political agenda and had insulted various ISSF Officials and the IOC Sports Director by indirectly calling him publicly a liar.  


For these and other reasons the ISSF Ethics Committee decided to sanction Mr. Rossi and explained its conclusions in a thoroughly drafted written decision which is now subject to an Appeal in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland. 


The ISSF further noted with great discomfort that FITAV in its press release seems to encourage athletes competing at the current 2018 ISSF World Cup stage in Malta to wear black armbands to express criticism against the ISSF and its independent Ethics Committee. This is particular disturbing as the athletes are not aware of the grounds of such decision, which have not been disclosed by the ISSF so far to protect the interests of Mr. Rossi and respect the ongoing proceedings. 


The above mentioned protest initiative clearly violates Article 6.12.1 of the ISSF General Technical Rules stipulating that: 


“No  type  of  demonstration  or  political,  religious  or  racial  propaganda  is  permitted during ISSF Championships.”


This regulation reflects Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter and the common sense in the sports world that sports competition may not be misused for any kind of demonstrations or political, religious or racial propaganda. 


The ISSF in the meantime has informed all athletes that demonstration or political manifestation of any kind by persons or group of persons, including but not limited to their external appearance, clothing, gestures, during any ISSF Championships constitute a breach of the above mentioned regulation and might lead to sanctions according to the ISSF Regulations.

ISSF Press Office