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Help judo fans and athletes with transparency of registration for events

For a while, judo fans though there was a glitch in the IJF website because when you looked for details on who would be competing at an upcoming IJF World Tour event, there was nothing there.

The the IJF came out with an article explaining why this was so. Turns out, the decision to not publish the list of participants prior to the draw was designed to "maintain equity and fairness for all delegations" and to "guarantee that competition manipulation and match fixing" stay out of the world of judo.

The short article did not explain how having the list published could contribute towards competition manipulation or match fixing but presumably what they are trying to do is to prevent certain judo federations from deciding which competition to go to depending on which other countries and which players are listed as participating.

For example, a certain federation might decide they will only send their players if Country A or Country B are not going to be there because they are strong judo countries. They will only go for events where relatively weaker countries are present.

To a certain extent you could argue such a practice as competition manipulation but it's a far cry from match fixing. In fact, I can't imagine how anyone could fix a match just based on the knowledge of who else is competing.

I'm sure the IJF has given this much thought and probably it will help to prevent federations from trying to figure out which competitions are easier than others. But for the media folks and for the ardent judo fans, this is a big disappointment.

Just as movie fans want to see trailers to get a sense of what's going to be in the movie, judo fans want a sense of who they can expect to see compete in a certain competition. If Riner is fighting, they want to know is Tushishvili going to be there? How about Krpalek or Harasawa or Sasson? Things like that. 

Instead, now we will all be in the dark until the draw. That's really not good for judo fans. Isn't there another way to prevent "competition manipulation" besides hiding the participation list? For example, make a ruling that after the entry deadline is over, federations cannot withdraw from the competition (or else pay a hefty fine) and then publish the list after that.

Perhaps the IJF had thought of that but decided against it for some reason. We won't know because the article explaining this decision was very short and didn't go into the details. For us judo fans, we can just hope that someday they will find a way to publish the list without it jeopardizing "equity and fairness" in the contests.

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