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Interview with Gianarrigo Rona

This interview is from a 9 page article about Boye Brogeland and the cheating incidents in the norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv. Its translated from norwegian with google translate. It was published on the of October, and the full article can be found here:

In my opinion it shows that the Wbf is very reluctant to do what is needed to get rid of the cheaters. Here is the translation of the part about Wbf:

WBFS manager, Gianarrigo Rona, a 75-year-old retired lawyer from Rome, has since 2010 operated organization with an iron fist next to his involvement in the Italian Olympic Committee. Before he rose to the top in WBF, he was also head of EBL, the European bridge organization for ten years. And before that, head of the Italian bridge organization for 23 years.

The tournament press officer, the Swedish-speaking Dutchman January Swaan, looks skeptical towards us as we ask for an interview with President Rona. He is certainly not a man you can talk to just like that. And certainly not in these times. Press Officer Swaan will see immediately what we're after.

- I do not think this is going. But I can ask, he says and disappears out of the tiny press office on the first floor.

A few minutes later he's back with a blank sheet of A4 paper, which he politely put on the table before us.

- Rona want you write down the questions here, he says.

- So he will consider them.

We note down questions while Swann peeks at them without saying anything, until he lifts up the sheet and again disappears for a few minutes. When he again comes back, he asks us to come along to an escalator, then another and so on inward once more in the hotel very top floor.

President Rona located behind the plate with the words "access only to authorized personnel."

- Wait, says Swaan.

Again we are standing and wonders.

Boss. President of the World Bridge Federation, Italian Gianarrigo Rona says he will fight cheating in bridge. But he has problems with the way Boye Brogeland have gone forward on. - One must follow the official way, he says.

Diploma from Samaranch

He says yes. We entered into a dark conference room at the top of this luxury hotel, where this Branden of a man on 75 thrones at the end of a more than ten-meter board. Beside him sits a young Italian who never presents itself, but which proves to be WBFS secretary Simon Fellus. They speak a little Italian together, before Rona turns toward us.

- First of all: Good morning! Welcome! I hope you will enjoy their stay here in Chennai.

He laughs, uncertain why.

Who is this guy?

He is the fourth generation attorney. He has admitted that he can not use a computer for anything other than typewriters. In the presentation by him on the bridge federation's website, it highlighted that in 2001 he received "The IOC Golden Diploma" of President Juan Antonio Samaranch. He lives in a nice house in Milano.

He coughs.

We ask:

- What will WBF do with revelations about cheating, and how will WBF prevent anything similar happening in the future?

- Well, says Rona.

- In principle, we have nothing against Boye, he continued.

- Primarily because I've known him since he practically was a child.

He laughs again.

- I would say that we are friends, he concludes.

Then he coughs again.

- The general principle is of course that we must combat cheating with everything we can. And basically the Boyes struggle against this positively. The problem is that there are rules and procedures that must be followed. One must follow the official road. I think it gets much better. Then you can check what's happened and make sure the right tools to deal with it - hearings and so on. In any free society must give culprit opportunity to defend themselves. One can not from the outset to establish that someone is guilty. Even gangsters who rob banks, have the right to a tribunal, he said.

- All these rumors just creates an atmosphere around the sport at all, and especially bridge, which is not good - nor true:

It is impossible to say that all players are cheaters or all are non-cheaters. It's not good to send out this kind of information - if there is no final decision. I will not even be involved in this way of doing it.

He believes that EBL must take primary responsibility, since "evidence" that is put forward, is from European tournaments. What about the Poles who play here now?

- The Poles, we have examined, he said, without saying anything more about it.

- Does this mean that you will start an investigation of the others now?

- No. This is EBL problem. We in WBF has no ... situation, he said.

- What will you do ahead to prevent cheating?

- We started working with new disciplinary rules after Bali two years ago. Still, this is difficult.

He thinks about it.

- The risks ahead for cheating will probably be lower with the new rules, but I do not know if it will ever be possible to eliminate fraud completely.

He elaborates not this.

- You know, cheaters are always a step ahead. There will always, as elsewhere in life, including in bridge, are ...

He's looking for a word, looks up and asks:

- What is it that is not so good in apples?

- Something is rotten?

- Something is rotten, yes.

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