Romanian Gymnastic Federation Expresses Concern
As you know the Romanian Gymnastic Federation decided to withdraw from the competition the Romanian women gymnasts participating at the 11th European Gymnastic Championships in Prague.
This decision was taken as a result of some technical deficiencies and of some methods appeared in the referees' actions which altered the results.
The gymnasts draws has been done without informing officially the Romanian Gymnastic Federation. The making up of the women referees staff has been done in a unilateral way; the appointment and the instruction of the referees has been carried out against the stipulations of the Code of Points. The jury has been formed according to an unheard formula at European Women Championships, violating the customs by an arbitrary interpretation of the Regulations.
The unfair pressures of such factors upon the results reached the climax while frequent changements of the results announced by the jury were made at the jumps event during the second day of the championship, the final ranking being changed without any explanation.
The Romanian delegation left the competition when the woman gymnast Nadia Comaneci was already holder of all European Champion's title, after having obtained the silver medal in jumps event (in our opinion she was worth of having a higher award), the golden medal in parallel bars event and after getting 10 note in beam event. Our decision has been taken on the basis of fairness, justice, dignity and mutual respect principles which we are all the time observing and promoting in the education of our youth.
We are sorry that the facts occurred at the European Championships in Prague put into a shadow a continental sports competition which would have been and should be a real gymnastics festival. We are convinced that any one who attended the competition or watched in on TV have understood well our feelings and the decision we were obliged to take. At the same time, we are confident that the International Gymnastics Federation will draw up the appropriate conclusions from what happened, will reconsider, will improve and will elaborate more precise rules, just like some national federations among which the Romanian Gymnastic Federation too, have already suggested several times, and will see that the work and the actions of the technical commissions be carried on according to as democratic principles as possible and that the international competition organized under its sponsorship be no more shadowed by such unfortunate incidents, which are detrimental to the gymnastics' cause we all are serving.
As far as we are concerned, we shall continue to fight for an international sports activity according to the Olympic principles of justice, of friendship, peace and fair play, so that the justice spirit should be observed, so that in all competitions the best should win. We would like to add that the Romanian Gymnastic Federation will bring its contribution just like it acted until now, to the improvement of the statutes of the International Federation and of the rules of the competitions.
This is our position in connection with the European Championships in Prague, we presented as a rule of our conduct, without approaching it minutely, thinking that in this way we can make easier the elaboration by common agreement of some conclusions, lessons and steps for the future.
At the next meeting of the IGF Executive Committee we propose to debate and to decide the following:
The draws for the official competition should be announced in advance and in the presence of the national federations' representatives wishing to attend it
At the Olympic Games, World and continental championships should be appointed only referees of exceptional category, recognized as such after having undergone appropriate IGF examinations; the referees body should be drawn before the competitions;
At the finals in apparatus events should be appointed by lots to neutral referees (coming from countries having no competitors in the concerned competition);
During the competition each referee should show the spectators his note;
The referees' activity should be controlled by the members of the Technical Committee, who will give qualification notes, which will be taken into consideration at the following appointments;
To better explain within the regulations the criteria according to which the referees are appreciated and that the unobservance of such criteria should have as result their exclusion from the referees body of the IGF;
The members of the juries at the Olympic Games, at the world and continental championships, should be appointed by the Executive Committee of the IGF;
To make up a commission which will have the duty to reconsider and to improve the Code of Points, both for girls and boys and once approved to remain valid for 4 years, during an Olympic cycle.
We remain, dear friends, with our best regards.