DX Contest Cheating — Caught Red-Handed
DX Contest Cheating. What a shame. How not to pad your log. Sometimes cheaters aren’t very bright.
The CQ World Wide Contest Committee said this week that it plans to review all past contest logs, after its investigation revealed a pattern of routine QSO padding on the part of one top-scoring CQ World Wide Contest operator. This follows in the wake of the disqualifications of some two dozen 2014 CQ WW SSB contest operators in April, and another 30 contestants in the 2014 CQ WW CW event. Among the latter group of DQs was the TO7A entry of Dmitry V. Stashuk, UT5UGR, of Kiev, Ukraine, for unclaimed use of assistance. TO7A had claimed the top Single-Operator, High Power score.
“During the public discussion around this disqualification, a section of the log on 160 meters was pointed out as being suspicious,” the committee said. “Further checking revealed a run of 47 QSOs that were added to the log when TO7A could not be detected on the air by RBN [Reverse Beacon Network] or SDR recordings. In total, as many as 123 QSOs representing 22 additional multipliers were padded into the log.” The CQ WW Contest Committee said the “particular pattern” of the suspicious contacts made it clear that they were added deliberately after the contest to fill in rest or break periods.
“Radiosport competition is built on a simple foundation — the expectation that all contacts are made over the air and correctly logged,” the committee said. “Since operations are performed from the privacy of our stations and without supervision, we all trust that everyone is playing by the same rules.”
The contest committee subsequently decided to dig more deeply into past contest logs submitted by UT5UGR, many of them competitive entries, including one for a record continental score, and it uncovered evidence of log padding going back to 2008, when UT5UGR placed third in the world in the Single-Operator, High Power category from V31WA in the CQ WW CW.
As a result, CQ has disqualified UT5UGR’s entries in which they detected log padding and removed them from the official score database. In addition, any entry into a CQ-sponsored contest until July 2020 in which UT5UGR is the operator or listed as a participant will be reclassified as a check log.
UT5UGR’s entries as TO7A into the 2009 and 2010 in the CQ WW SSB, and his 2011 and 2014 CQ WW 160 Meter Contest SSB entries under his own call sign have been disqualified. In addition to his 2008 V31WA CQ WW SSB entry from 2008, CQ also disallowed UT5UGR’s TO7A 2014 CQ WW SSB and CW entries, as well as his TO7A entries in the CQ WW CW events in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
“This violation of the trust that underlies radiosport competition cannot be ignored,” CQ said. The CQ WW Contest Committee has announced that new log checking processes are being developed to improve the detection of log padding. “We intend to test these methods against all submitted logs from 2011-2014. If other entries are found to have added unverifiable QSOs, we will address them on a case by case basis,” CQ said.
“The CQ World Wide Contest Committee is committed to protecting the integrity of the competition as best as we can,” the CQ post said, adding that it hoped the contesting community would do the same.
P.S. Sadly this has been going on for a very long time. Back in my heyday, the 60s, there were frequent whispers about certain big-gun stations. But it was harder to prove back then. Congrats to CQ Magazine for trying to keep the playing field level.