Hungary’s György Sallak has left his position as International Skating Union (ISU) development coordinator after the body’s Council decided to “terminate with immediate effect the cooperation”.
Sallak finished second in a four-horse race to replace Ottavio Cinquanta as head of the world governing body at the ISU Congress in Dubrovnik on June 10.
He received 52 votes in a second-round runoff with The Netherlands’ Jan Dijkema after France’s Didier Gailhaguet and Britain’s Chris Buchanan each withdrew after round one.
The Dutchman was elected to the post with 63.
Sallak, who had drawn much of his support from Eastern Europe, had faced criticism during his campaign for supposedly using his development coordinator position to travel among Federations and gain support.
An anonymous email addressed to the “World Skating Family” was circulated in March, seeking to raise questions over “whether a person who spends ISU money in such a manner can be suitable to take control over and to manage the total ISU budget”.
It claims that he managed a budget of almost $6 million (£4.2 million/€5.5 million) per year with almost no control, adding that only 15 of the 72 ISU members had been supported and that Hungary had received 20 per cent of funding.
The ISU voted to overhaul the develpment coordinator position during the Congress and to set-up a new and more egalitarian Development Commission.
“Based on the 2016 Congress decision to create a Development Commission and to discontinue the present function of the Development Coordinator, the Council decided to terminate with immediate effect the cooperation with Mr. György Sallak,” confirmed a message posted on the ISU website.
Development funding had been controlled by Sallak, but had been under the ultimate responsibility of the vice-presidents, including Dijkema.
When asked about the concerns surrounding development work by insidethegames after his election, Dijkema claimed that fully audited accounts have now been drawn-up for the last two years, and their is thus no need for a further investigation.
These accounts are published on a part of the ISU website not open to the public.
Sallak, also international relations director of the Hungarian National Skating Federation. had been expected to leave his position anyway, but the strong wording of the ISU message shows he has no choice.
It is not clear if this is purely due to the scrapping of the position, or if it is related directly to his performance in the role.
Dijkema has prioritised a rehaul of the ISU development work in his manifesto, suggesting that, despite his comments, he does have concerns with how it was carried out before.
“The composition of the Development Commission as well as an update of Communication No. 1531 (ISU Development Programme) is under preparation for finalisation and publication after the ISU Council meeting scheduled for September 9 to 11, 2016,” added the ISU message.
“In the meantime, the respective vice-presidents in cooperation with the ISU Secretariat will monitor all Development Projects under implementation and/or urgent Development Project requests.”