Open letter to FIBA-EUROPE President Mr. GEORG VASSILAKOPOULOS24 october 2007

Moscow, 2007 October 24

Dear Mr. Vassilakopoulos!

At present the situation around Russian player PAVEL GROMYKO who has a valid contract with BC KHIMKI has become scandalous, only to be artificially complicated by the press, which is full of comments attributing to the said player the status of CRVENA ZVEZDA player. As this status has nothing to do with law, we’re determined to tell you the whole truth.

On the 12th of October FIBA-EUROPE made a decision, according to which the player PAVEL GROMYKO was allowed to play in Serbia because of his being allegedly free from any contractual obligations in Russia. Russian Basketball Federation expressed its disagreement with this decision and therefore decided to appeal.

Both facts and conclusions outlined in FIBA-EUROPE decision are a far cry from reality. On the 24th of October 2006 the player in question signed the contract with BC KHIMKI for 2 years. This very fact has been recognized by FIBA-EUROPE.
The conclusion, according to which this contract is valid since the 1st of September 2005 till the end of 2006-2007 season is completely incorrect.

Moreover, the decision of FIBA-EUROPE is based primarily on the player’s personal statements and full of uncertainties, for instance, the Federation of Germany is mentioned, also the fact that this Federation too asked for the Letter of Clearance, about which Russian Basketball Federation is completely unaware. We are also unaware of the role of German Federation at all.
The decision is based on the fact that FIBA-EUROPE compared the player’s signature in the contract with his signature in some other document and found the former invalid.

We state officially that the contract in question was signed on the 24th of October by PAVEL GROMYKO himself, with his agent Alessandro BARBALICH (U-FIRST AGENCY) being present. Furthermore, the latter too signed this contract.
Surprisingly, however, FIBA-EUROPE identified the player’s signature as invalid without going to any official scientific expertise whatsoever.

Official agent of the player was not asked to present his opinion.

BC KHIMKI is ready for any official handwriting expertise because we know that the signature is absolutely genuine. Mr. GROMYKO’S claim that it is not the case is lie.

At present the case (RBF and BC KHIMKI VS PAVEL GROMYKO) is being heard at the Sports Arbitration Court of Russia, and handwriting expertise –by our request –has been confirmed as necessary.

Since the contract between BC KHIMKI and PAVEL GROMYKO is still valid, and its original was sent to FIBA-EUROPE by Russian Basketball Federation, we consider FIBA-EUROPE recent decision as incorrect.

We hope that justice will always prevail in FIBA-UROPE, that reputation of Russian Basketball Federation and BC KHIMKI will be restored, and that this case will not become a malignant precedent allowing other irresponsible people to ignore their lawful contracts and get away with it!

The copy of the contract is enclosed.

With respect to you,
Victor Bychkov,
BC KHIMKI General Director