ICSD bans former Athletics Technical Director for sexual harassment


Distributed on 10.11.2022 in Lausanne, Switzerland

ICSD has banned for 30 years the former Athletics Technical Director from all sporting and official events organised by the ICSD, ICSD members, and associate member organisations after finding him guilty of sexually harassing one female member.

On 11 October 2022, Dr. Ádám Kósa, President of the ICSD, became aware of the alleged sexual harassment. The next day, on 12 October 2022, the ICSD Executive Board immediately initiated ex officio proceedings against Mr. Norf, who immediately resigned from his post. On 9 November 2022, the Disciplinary Panel (which was composed of members of the Ethics Committee, members of the ICSD Executive Team - ICSD President and Vice President - and the ICSD Chief Executive Officer) learned from an Ethics Committee's final report that a former ICSD official, Dieter Norf, Athletics Technical Director, sent messages of a sexual nature to one woman during the 24th Summer Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil between 1-15 May 2022. His ban comes after the alleged victim claimed she had received a series of WhatsApp messages from him asking her to show her body. She rejected his sexual advances. Unless she accepted his request, he wrongly used his official position as ICSD Athletics Technical Director, to interfere with her plans for an ICSD plan. By doing so, he violated the Code of Ethics. Upon careful analysis of the victim's written statements and the various evidence collected during the investigations conducted by the Ethics Committee, the Panel found ample evidence that Mr. Norf had breached the Code of Ethics. Finally, the Panel decided to ban 30 years Mr. Norf for a violation of the anti-harassment policy.

The ICSD took this immediate action to emphasise a zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and inappropriate sexual behavior at all sports and official events. The ICSD is committed to ensuring that the events provide a professional, respectful and harassment-event experience for everyone. Mr. Norf has a right to appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), under Article 98 of the ICSD Code of Ethics, within 21 days of the date the decision was delivered to recipients. After this period, the Disciplinary Panel's decision becomes final and enforceable.

The ICSD, the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf, is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and operates a highly organied sports activity system solely aimed at Deaf people. The ICSD has been an independent and self-regulated international sports organisation since 1924. In line with IOC standards, the ICSD is committed at the highest level to the safe participation of athletes and sports professionals in sporting events. The ICSD requires all participants to adhere to the highest ethical standards at sporting events. To this end, it adopted a Code of Ethics at its Extraordinary Congress on 28 November 2021 in Lausanne, Switzerland.