Just days before the start of the 2013 Summer Deaflympics, a court in Slovakia has found Jaromir Ruda, the organiser of the cancelled 2011 Winter Deaflympics, guilty of fraud for embezzling money that was budgeted to prepare for those games. He will serve a sentence of 13 years in prison.
Ruda was originally found guilty of embezzlement in June 2011, but he and an accomplice appealed against the verdict. An appeals court ordered a new trial and upgraded the charges against Ruda to fraud.
Vysoke Tatry, a popular ski resort in Slovakia, was selected to host the 2011 Winter Deaflympic Games. However, in February 2011, Deaflympics chiefs were forced to cancel the Games just days before the opening ceremony because the local organisers were unable to provide funding to stage the Games – despite assurances and site inspections.
The last-minute cancellation was devastating to athletes who were due to take part, many of whom were already in Slovakia.
Some athletes discovered that their accommodation had not been booked by local organisers, and that the Deaflympics venues were not ready for the start of the Games.
Ruda will file an appeal to the Slovakian Supreme Court.
For more background information, click here for the Independent’s feature on the 2011 Winter Deaflympics fiasco.
By Paul Harrison, the Limping Chicken’s News Reporter. Paul is a freelance journalist, currently living and working in London. When not at his desk writing or tweeting, he can be found at a coffee shop or Loftus Road/The Stoop/Celtic Park (delete as applicable) mumbling insults at the referee or sloppy passing. Follow him on Twitter as @paulbharrison
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