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How does one defend a cheating allegation?

Let us assume that a pair in a remote club faces a cheating allegation that relates to exchange and use of some premeditated code/UI/signals. Three possibilities are worth considering.

  1. The Pair did actually cheat. 
  2. The pair did not cheat, however, the accusers had a genuine reason to believe they did. 
  3. Someone in high authority had a grudge against them and thought that this would be a good tool to use.


A committee gives them a set of deals where their actions were thought to be based on dubious rationale. 

How could the pair possibly defend itself? What would constitute a valid defence?

As a test case, I picked, at random, two play problems from the master solvers' club. (Bridge World Nov 09, Feb10, each was Problem F, lead at trick two). The first had 8 options, the second, 6. The Experts' choices were distributed 11-8-2-2-2-1-0-0 and 9-8-4-2-2-0.

Thus, even if your choice was the one that had most experts going for it, you would have more experts going against you. 11 vs 15 in the first problem, and 9 vs. 16 in the second one.

I am curious to know what other experts think about this one. Note that there is a considerable chance that the procedure could be used vindictively unless it is properly understood, and unless it offers a realistic chance to the defenders.

(Edited to replace 'chose' with 'picked, at random' after the words 'As a test case,'.)

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