IFSA Turns Down Wild Card

Fortissimus tried to reopen the door for IFSA participation in the 2008 Louis Cyr World Strength Challenge by offering IFSA the wild card slot, but IFSA has respectfully declined the offer, and IronMind® has been given the full offer and reply, and is presenting them below, verbatim.

Following is the offer extended by Fortissimus steering committee chairman Paul Ohl to IFSA managing director Christian Fennell, and then, Christian Fennell's reply, for all who would like to read the exact exchanges that took place on this topic.

"Hi Christian,

Thank you for the letter. Let me just get a few things straight. FORTISSIMUS stated from the beginning that it would NOT seek the sanctioning of the event by any organization based on past experience. If there is any additional money available it will go DIRECTLY TO THE ATHLETES. It was also clear, and you were informed right from the start, that FORTISSIMUS would be a decathlon of strength and that the events, some being a tribute to Louis Cyr yet adapted to modern times, would be disclosed same day to all athletes THREE AND A HALF MONTHS BEFORE COMPETITION TIME. This seems pretty much in line with any organization's policy. FORTISSIMUS has also informed you and extensively discussed with you the fact that the athletes, all strength athletes selected on the premium list, were to confirm personally their accepting the challenge.

And we had come to an agreement as to the "no restrictions" item. You had assured us that given our close cooperation - going from 8 to 10 participants, adding one more IFSA affiliated athlete - that such restrictions would fall. It meant in clear that the IFSA athletes would guarantee their showing up at the competition. You did not honor your commitment. As for safety and security of the IFSA athletes we have reassured you in any possible way with the exception of the "branded" equipment: we told you that using the IFSA trademarked equipment was not and will not be an option.

FORTISSIMUS 2008 maintains as its main concern the ATHLETE'S FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO COMPETE WITH NO RESTRICTIONS. That includes the right of any strength athlete to be totally informed on the conditions, the rules and the safety and security measures including medical attendance; the right to be fully paid the entire prize money he has been promised and to be paid immediately following the competition; the right of speech, amongst other things. FORTISSIMUS 2008 guarantees those rights to the participants by contract.

On these grounds, FORTISSIMUS offers you the wildcard that it holds as the No. 10 spot in the competition. If you do accept the above-mentioned, we consent to IFSA the right to select ONE strength athlete amongst the three that had to withdraw. Providing however that you will guarantee that the selected athlete will accept the "no restrictions" clause. Should that athlete decide by himself, once on location, that the challenge proves too much for him, and should he by then elect to withdraw, he will still be entitled to full expenses for the duration of the event.

Thank you for considering this offer of further cooperation,


And here is Christian Fennell's reply:

"Hi Paul,

Thank you for your email.

First of all, never did I state that the condition of the IFSA athletes to be able to withdraw once the full event detail was announced 'would fall'. In point of fact, I had your personal guarantee that we would hold this right. However, when you officially removed this condition with your email dated, Dec. 6th. , IFSA Strongman could no longer support the event. As I have explained to you, IFSA Strongman cannot and will not sanction or support any event without our first being able to evaluate fully the details of the event; we have a responsibility to our athletes to always ensure that any event we sanction them to compete in is governed in a professional and safe manner. To date, we simply have not been provided the necessary information to be able to accurately evaluate your event.

We respectfully decline your offer of the 'Wild Card' position for the event.


Christian Fennell
Managing Director,
IFSA Strongman Ltd."

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