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The WDC and Brazilian Community Rant. (See latest edit, final decision)

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#61
Sorry for asking what appears to be general knowledge, but what exactly is the claim? That he peeked during the solve? Performed moves during memorization? Had outside help to remind him of the memo or algs? And what are the times in question, since I presume they’re not currently on the WCA site?
The times were:
3BLD: 26.19+2 at Mineirim Open Spring 2018
I don't remember the exact times for 4BLD and 5BLD, they were around 6 minutes for 4BLD and 9 minutes for 5BLD, both done at Campeonato Brasileiro 2018. The 5BLD solve would have been SAR.

There is no official claim on how exactly he cheated, although the WDC is convinced that he couldn't get those times legitimately. (Keep in mind that this is under re-evaluation). Quoting from Lorenzo's Facebook post:
"I’m going to end this post by saying that I also have a couple of ideas on how he cheated, but I have no proof. Hence, the one year ban. If I could prove what I think happened, Fabio would have been banned for at least three years. Since this is all speculation, I won’t disclose any of my opinions on the matter."
 
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#62
They claim I got "suspiciously good results under unclear circumstances" (or something along those lines, forgot the exact words).

Times being:

9:02min 5x5 BLD

16:xx and 06:xx 4x4 BLD

28:xx 3BLD

The latter has been confirmed to be a misscramble (and the WDC official seems to imply at times, in our email exchanges, that this is somehow my fault? lol).

As for the big BLD results, they simply doubt I'm capable of achieving such results and attempt justifying this by comparing attempts from different competitions which happened months apart.

They claim I cheated, yet have no evidence to back that up other than the word of a few select competitors.

Sorry for asking what appears to be general knowledge, but what exactly is the claim? That he peeked during the solve? Performed moves during memorization? Had outside help to remind him of the memo or algs? And what are the times in question, since I presume they’re not currently on the WCA site?
 
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#63
As for the big BLD results, they simply doubt I'm capable of achieving such results and attempt justifying this by comparing attempts from different competitions which happened months apart.
As I have already said, my main comparison was done with the other BigBLD results that you achieved at the same competition.
 

Mike Hughey

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#65
There is no official claim on how exactly he cheated, although the WDC is convinced that he couldn't get those times legitimately. (Keep in mind that this is under re-evaluation).
To me, invalidating solves for the singular reason that the WCA has decided the competitor is incapable of the results seems like a dangerous precedent to set. I'd think we would always want at least some sort of possible explanation or explanations of how the false result might have been achieved, taking into account the known facts.
 
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#66
As I have already said, my main comparison was done with the other BigBLD results that you achieved at the same competition.
I'm not talking about you, chill - I'm referencing the comparisons the WDC official has made with the help of so-called "specialists", which did include comparing times from two different competitions, as well as an attempt to compare my big BLD results to my MBLD results.
 

mark49152

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#67
For information, here is the full text of the statement Lorenzo made on 21 Nov 2018 in response to the Facebook discussion, laying out his reasoning in this case.

Hello everyone,

I want to address the concerns that some members of the community expressed in a previous post here on Cyoubx’s Friends regarding the outcome of the WDC investigation about Fabiano Pereira’s results in blindfolded events.

I want to clarify from the beginning that I will not disclose all the evidence that the WDC has gathered in the last two months, because a good part of it consists of statements from multiple witnesses. No statement will be discussed here, nor any identity of the witnesses involved will be revealed. I have taken the decision of sharing some information, because I think that it’s important to reply to the concerns of the community, and I don’t have anything to hide.
Something else that I think is important to clarify is that nor I, nor the WDC, take any decision to ban people lightly. We evaluate carefully each and every aspect of our investigations. Banning someone is our last resort and it’s never an easy decision.

I’ll divide my considerations into points, to facilitate the reading. Please, take a moment to read the whole thing, let it sink into your mind and think about it before jumping to conclusion. Even if the whole thing is quite self-explanatory, in my opinion.

[Fabiano’s attitude] Fabio (I always called him “Fabio” during the investigation, so I’ll stick to it) immediately got on the defensive when we contacted him, never replied on point to our questions, always tried to mislead us when we confronted him with the accounts that multiple witnesses provided to us. When I say “defensive”, I don’t mean that he tried to defend himself providing explanations or evidence. I mean that he just refused to cooperate. When I asked him to provide the evidence that we needed, he indeed replied that he had no time to do it, but he also said that he didn’t see the point in sending it to me, so he decided to rest his case and he stated that he had no further comments.

[The evidence requested] I asked Fabio to send me the following evidence:

- A video of his solution of the 2nd scramble of the first round of 3x3 blindfolded at Mineirim Open Spring 2018, where he got the 28 single. I told him that he could solve while watching, because I was only interested in seeing his execution (of course, the solution had to be with the method he uses to solve the cube blindfolded);

- A video of a 4x4 solved with the method that he uses whilst blindfolded, but again I was only interested in seeing the execution, so he could have done it without memorizing without any problem on our part. I also asked for the scramble of the solve, in order to be able to follow what he did;
- The same for a 5x5.

I didn’t set any deadline, so there were no time constraints on our part. He just refused to do it. By the way, I watched all of his videos on his youtube channel and I must say that I think a lot of them are just fake/prepared solves.

[The video of the 28 single in 3x3 blind] Until this video emerged, Fabio never raised the concern that he could have received a mis-scramble. He confirmed he received the correct scramble at the competition in front of multiple people, when he was unaware of the existence of the video. In the unedited video (not the one on Fabio’s channel), it’s possible to see the execution of the last corners. They don’t match the official second scramble, nor any other scramble generated by TNoodle for the competition. Also, the execution is very, very slow. We also have another piece of evidence, a picture, that shows that the cube had all of its edges solved at around 14 seconds. Do the math.

[Fabio’s times in competitions] We have the scorecards of Mineirim Open Spring 2018 (September), we don’t recall times by memory. We have the scorecards of his attempts with the recorded time also for the DNFs, as it’s becoming more and more usual in WCA competitions, because of cumulative time limits. Therefore, I can say with absolute certainty that his times in blind events at this competition were:

- 3x3x3 Blindfolded
1st Round: DNF (1:40.18); 28.19; 50:01.
Final: DNF (55.38) ; DNF (56.17) ; DNF.

- 4x4x4 Blindfolded
Final: DNF (19:01); DNF (11:40); DNF (14:46)

- 5x5x5 Blindfolded
Final: DNF (33:46); DNF (22:45)

- 3x3x3 Multiple-Blindfolded
Final: 7/7 55:05

To give a little bit more context, at the Brazilian Championship in July, he obtained a successful solve in his first attempt in 4x4 Blindfolded in 16 minutes (which I deem plausible) and a 6 minutes success on his last attempt (which raises some eyebrows). In 5x5 Blindfolded he got a DNF in 37 minutes in his first attempt and a 9 minutes success in his last attempt (SAR at the time). Both the 6 minutes success in 4x4 Blindfolded and the 9 minutes success in 5x5 Blindfolded happened while there was no one else in the room, apart from Fabio and his judge, who was always the same guy and who is also the judge of the 28 single in 3x3 Blindfolded.

[The opinion of experts] The WDC consulted top level speedcubers, with results under 30 seconds in 3x3 Blindfolded, under 4 minutes in 4x4 Blindfolded and under 10 minutes in 5x5 Blindfolded. All of them helped us extensively during the analysis of Fabio’s times, videos, claimed methods of solution.

I’m going to end this post by saying that I also have a couple of ideas on how he cheated, but I have no proof. Hence, the one year ban. If I could prove what I think happened, Fabio would have been banned for at least three years. Since this is all speculation, I won’t disclose any of my opinions on the matter.
The decision about the length of the ban derives from an analogue case that happened in the past. Results that didn’t reflect the level of the speedcuber under investigation were DNFed and a one year ban was given after the speedcuber failed to prove his abilities in a Skype call with the WDC. Fabio didn’t even want to record a 30 seconds video for a 3x3 solution.

I saw some reference to Ushakov’s case in the comments of the other post. This is not like that case. Ushakov always replied on point to our questions, always cooperated during the investigation.

I’m still open to re-examine this case if new evidence arises, as it’s always the case with WDC investigations. Also, I informed Fabio that he has the right to appeal to the WEC if he thinks that the WDC decision is unfair. As far as I know, he has not appealed. He decided to bring the case on Facebook, instead.

Thanks for reading.

Best,

Lorenzo Vigani Poli
WDC Team Leader
 
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Thread starter #68
To me, invalidating solves for the singular reason that the WCA has decided the competitor is incapable of the results seems like a dangerous precedent to set. I'd think we would always want at least some sort of possible explanation or explanations of how the false result might have been achieved, taking into account the known facts.
Exactly, and this is what I made the rant post on. What if cases like these are being investigated and they base their reasoning off of times achieved, and what does this mean for future competitors.

Like Mike said, this is a dangerous road to be going down. We should be celebrating people’s accomplishments, not punishing them for it.

Edit: Mark, I’ll hyperlink the full Facebook post to the OP alongside the images in the drive folder.
 
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#69
To me, invalidating solves for the singular reason that the WCA has decided the competitor is incapable of the results seems like a dangerous precedent to set. I'd think we would always want at least some sort of possible explanation or explanations of how the false result might have been achieved, taking into account the known facts.
Exactly, and this is what I made the rant post on. What if cases like these are being investigated and they base their reasoning off of times achieved, and what does this mean for future competitors.

Like Mike said, this is a dangerous road to be going down. We should be celebrating people’s accomplishments, not punishing them for it.
This is a valid point, and I would personally be happy to see a response from the WEC or the Board on how the investigation was handled (after the case gets re-closed).

I'm not talking about you, chill - I'm referencing the comparisons the WDC official has made with the help of so-called "specialists", which did include comparing times from two different competitions, as well as an attempt to compare my big BLD results to my MBLD results.
I cannot talk for everyone here, but since I am one of the "specialists" contacted by the WDC I can say that I have never used your MultiBLD as a reference and I have only marginally considered your times at the following competition.
 
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#70
As someone who hasn’t (yet) done big blind, I will say that 6 vs. 16 minutes 4BLD and 9 vs. 37 minutes 5BLD looks suspicious, and the issue of no one in the room except the same judge for the questionable big blind attempts seems VERY problematic.
 
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Thread starter #72
I’ve gotten news that the WDC is formulating a final report with the final decision regarding this case. Even though debate may continue, I will ask everyone to prevent further speculation on whether he was cheating or not until the WDC releases a report and hopefully the WEC and Board can look into how this was handled. Thank you everyone for the support and remaining civil.
 
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#73
As someone who hasn’t (yet) done big blind, I will say that 6 vs. 16 minutes 4BLD and 9 vs. 37 minutes 5BLD looks suspicious, and the issue of no one in the room except the same judge for the questionable big blind attempts seems VERY problematic.
Earlier, Fabiano stated that does safe solves, so is first solves are slower. This is intentional and a legitimate BLD strategy to my understanding.
 
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#75
Earlier, Fabiano stated that does safe solves, so is first solves are slower. This is intentional and a legitimate BLD strategy to my understanding.
Fair enough, but was he running up against a cumulative time limit, or did he get a second slow success between the 37 minute 5BLD DNF and the 9 minute success? Was the judge the same for those two attempts, or were there different judges?
 
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#76
Fair enough, but was he running up against a cumulative time limit, or did he get a second slow success between the 37 minute 5BLD DNF and the 9 minute success? Was the judge the same for those two attempts, or were there different judges?
1. The event had a 60min cumulative limit, Bo3 format;

2. The 37min solve was an overly safe attempt indeed followed by the 9min success - Having already secured my podium with the latter, I simply DNS'd the third one;

3. The judge was the same. I don't know whether he volunteered or was picked by the delegates.
 
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#77
It's 2018 and cameras are dirt cheap. I'm surprised the WCA hasn't yet required a camera per table to look into these sorts of things.
One camera is dirt cheap.

One camera multiplied by the number of tables used multiplied by the total number of competitions probably isn't. (Yes, they can be reused across comps, etc. etc. etc. but my point is, you can't judge the expenses required just from how expensive a single camera is.)
 
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#78
One camera is dirt cheap.

One camera multiplied by the number of tables used multiplied by the total number of competitions probably isn't. (Yes, they can be reused across comps, etc. etc. etc. but my point is, you can't judge the expenses required just from how expensive a single camera is.)
Yeah, I'm a developer and we're quite adept at hand-waving past the details when considering solutions :). I would imagine it's perfectly feasible to cover two solving stations with a single camera so it'd probably require roughly half the number of cameras as StackMats needed for a comp. Then there are the logistics involved in what to do with the footage, how long to archive it in case of incident, all sorts of potential snags and added workload.

I think it's fortunate that there was security camera footage to allow reconstruction of the recent 3x3 single and I think footage would have likely resolved these incidents to everyone's satisfaction. I don't exactly have my finger on the pulse, I'm sure this discussion has come up before despite not having seen it myself.
 
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#79
One camera is dirt cheap.

One camera multiplied by the number of tables used multiplied by the total number of competitions probably isn't. (Yes, they can be reused across comps, etc. etc. etc. but my point is, you can't judge the expenses required just from how expensive a single camera is.)
Just something I saw on fb the other day, I’m personally going to be buying one or two to test out at comps and if they work well we will do it more. While I think it shouldn’t be required (at least for a long time) it’s doable with a low budget. It’s only capable of solving incidents in the last 3 hours. Cost aren’t too bad at $30 per station, about the same cost as a stackmat. For just smaller local comps it would probably take 1-2 competition proceeds to pay them off.

Camera link:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=272950894907

Example video:
 

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mark49152

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#80
Thanks, Mark. That does lessen my concerns somewhat. Although a specific description of how the false result was achieved is not directly given there, it is certainly true that some possible explanations are implied by that post.
To be clear, I reposted Lorenzo's statement for information because so many people are opining on how he has handled the case; I was not meaning to imply support one way or the other in this case. Indeed I do have an opinion, but it is irrelevant (as are most people's, to be frank).

Personally I'm a little disappointed at the lack of confidence that some parts of the community have in the people and processes of the WCA. It was made clear by the WDC that this investigation would be reopened if additional evidence were presented. We also have processes of appeal, the oversight of the Ethics Committee if the WDC falls short, and indeed of the Board itself. All of this organisation and process exists for the purpose of ensuring fair outcomes, and we should have confidence that they can and will achieve that, and let them get on with their jobs.
 
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