View Full Version : Did British Fencing act ethically in its wildcard selection policy and procedure poll

-31st May 2012, 22:43
Did British Fencing act ethically in its wildcard selection policy and procedure poll

-31st May 2012, 22:50
this is the right one, please ignore the other thread.

-31st May 2012, 23:56
I wasn't going to comment in the 'wildcard' thread, as it was getting a bit out of hand, BF would have saved themselves a world of problems if they made the selection more transparent. Did they make some wrong choices? Absolutely. Was it unethical? Thats a harder one to call I think.

-1st June 2012, 09:18
I think you're asking the wrong question here.

Were the selection rules fair? - (No IMO, but I've belaboured the discretionary selection point now)
Was the process followed correctly? - Yes according to the arbitration, though would be good to see the stats presented properly.)
Have the correct fencers been selected? (No in the majority's opinion it seems.)

I'm not clear how ethics comes into it unless you start accusing people of having other reasons behind their decision. We SHOULD have objected to the selection rules earlier and we have to wait for the justifications of the decisions before we can argue the case without speculation. For example, it's not specifically unethical to favour youth over results if that's what they genuinely believe to be right, though it's not the right decision.

You and I are both of the same opinion about the selections here, but I want the arguments put forward to be absolutely crystal-clear and legitimate so there is no dismissing them.

-1st June 2012, 09:39
ridiculous poll

-3rd June 2012, 19:16
I have just finished reading the BOA's response to the BFA selection appeal. Not exactly glowing with praise for the BFA to put it mildly. It should be compulsory reading for every BFA member just in case they haven't yet figured out how bent the organisation currently is. The idea that an acting coach could be involved in the selection process in any way beggars belief. From a corporate governance perspective its like the BFA is in some kind of 1950's timewarp. Nobody with a commercial interest in the sport, who is participating at a national level, or is connected to one (be they parent, coach or sponsor) should be allowed to have any involvement with a BFA committee or serve as a director. In any normal organisation that would be in the articles of association.


-3rd June 2012, 19:54
These were the most interesting points made by the QC

1. By not setting out in advance how many places would be awarded per weapon, and allowing potential performance in the next olympics as a selection criteria, the BFA allowed significantly too much subjectivity to enter into the selection process. Avoiding subjectivity is supposed to be one of the key principals of selection rules. (i.e. the BFA selection process was fundamentally flawed)

2. The BFA did not properly manage the potential conflicts of interest within the selection groups, in the respect that it did not ensure that there were people on the panels with sufficient expertise in each weapon (or time), to properly challenge the recommendations made to them. (i,e the way the process was handled, particularly with regard to sabre selection was also flawed)

3. Unfortunately the resolutions service cannot throw out a decision because the process is flawed, only if the process is not followed. There was insufficient evidence to prove conclusively that the process was not followed to the extent required to reject the nominations.

4. The costs of the arbitration will be borne by British Fencing (if you understand how the law works, nuff said)

Foilling Around
-3rd June 2012, 22:46
ridiculous poll

Agreed, unethical implies a deliberate act as opposed to the more likely cock up.

-4th June 2012, 08:19
Why, in a sport with a well established and independently verified national and international ranking system, do you need a three tiered committee structure to make olympic selection decisions?

Heaven forbid that it could be for the sole purpose of making several amateurish, retired, failed fencers feel important? And at the expense of ruining several substantially more successful fencers' sporting careers.

-1st July 2012, 08:47
I'm not sure if the selection was ethical or not since I don't know the people on the board personally. However judging by the results and if I had to bet my house, I'd bet it was not ethical.
For certain the method that it was carried out was bound to lead to suspicions and create concerns depending on who was selected. I pity those fencers that were selected and have a cloud of suspicion hanging over their heads because their coach was on the selection comitee. I pity those that lost out, more so, despite the fact they have produced better results.
A grown man should have known better and excused himself when he saw a definate conflict of interest, and I don't mean walking out of the room when they took the vote. His presence on that comitee could only have resulted this way if his students were to be selected and that is a stone cold fact.
He should have stepped down long ago from the selection comitee if he believed his fencers would be selected upon their own merits. If I was one of those that lost a place I'd be furious and with good reason.
As for this BS about selecting people based on potential for 2016 I read somewhere, please spare me! Who goes to the Olympics based on potential to win a medal at 2016? What happens at 2016, they get sent based on potential for winning medals at 2020?
People go to the Olympics to win medals, end of story!
As a member of the BFA I feel that I've been sold short on the London Olympics thanks to the horrendous handling of the selection of our athletes.

Just my opinion.

-20th January 2013, 21:39
Out of curiosity, in the aftermath of the olympics, given that the selection committee went out on a limb with its subjective criteria, winding up both the Olympic association and much of the fencing community in the process, and then saw its more controversial selections bomb, did those responsible either tender their resignations, get booted, or are they still in situ?

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