Breakdancing featured at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games ©Getty Images

The World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) have alleged email correspondence has been "altered and falsified" regarding the breakdancing qualification process for last year’s 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. 

insidethegames has seen two emails directed to International Olympic Committee and National Olympic Committee (NOC) members which attempts to question the WDSF’s "handling of the breakdance category for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games".

The first email was sent by Erwin Mahroug, President of breakdancing media company bboyworld, who had previously claimed the "breaking community" had not been involved in any attempts to include the sport at Paris 2024.

He had previously claimed the "breakin community was quite angry on how the Youth Olympic Games unfolded and voiced their negative opinion throughout various global media platforms".

In his email to IOC and NOC members, Mahroug claimed parents of athletes were required to pay for their attendance at the WDSF Junior World Championships in Japan, which would serve as a qualification event.

"Many parents were surprised with the bill they had to pay, this is reason why some kids decided not to participate anymore in the youth Olympics 2018," Mahroug wrote.

"Many participants were misinformed about what it takes to be part of the project and and were confronted with financial surprises.

"My company and myself personally signed up over 700 kids for the WDSF after they couldn’t for fill participants for the project."

He alleged the WDSF had "bluffed to the IOC" that they had breakdance members.

Email correspondence was attached, which was purported to be between former WDSF chief executive Jean-Laurent Bourquin and parties involved in the Youth Olympic Games process.

Dated November 22 and 23 in 2017, the correspondence is deemed to detail discussions over travel expenses to the qualifying event in Tokyo.

Break dancing appears on course for Olympic inclusion at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images
Break dancing appears on course for Olympic inclusion at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

"It is important that no information is circulated about the fact that WDSF is working (since several months) to find solutions in order to pay the travel expenses to Tokyo," Bourquin is alleged to have written.

"You will indeed understand that if some NOCs or NMBs learn about it before it becomes official, they will cancel their financial support."

The correspondence shows an offer from Silverback Bboy Events amend a sponsorship agreement to support a number of qualifiers and their parents to attend the Championships in Japan’s capital city.

When contacted by insidethegames, the WDSF claimed the "original email correspondence was altered and falsified by certain individuals and then forwarded in altered form to various third parties".

They added: "The forwarding of the doctored email exchange has been reported to the appropriate parties, with copies of the original exchange and the two altered versions."

The WDSF confirmed Silverback Bboy Events provided financial support to the organisation in 2017 to support breakdancing’s appearance at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

Silverback Bboy Events is owned by Steve Graham who co-founded Urban Dance & Educational Foundation (UDEF) in 2013 and supports breakdancing philanthropically.

The governing body added the UDEF collaborated with the WDSF to ensure the Summer Youth Olympic Games were a success.

The WDSF asserted all athletes’ parents were made aware that they would have to cover part of the costs of the qualifying process, but insisted all qualifiers to the event in Tokyo had financial support made available.

The organisation added they had sought to collaborate with a variety of stakeholders to promote the qualification process.

The IOC Executive Board provisionally approved breakdancing for inclusion at the Olympic Games at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images
The IOC Executive Board provisionally approved breakdancing for inclusion at the Olympic Games at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

"WDSF implemented the first ever online video qualification process by an International Federation for any Olympic event," the WDSF said.

"The aim was to reach out to as many b-boys and b-girls as possible as many of them do not belong to any traditional sport structures, as is the case for other urban youth sports.

"We contacted key stakeholders from the breaking community to spread the word and enable equal opportunities for all concerned.

"Various parties from the international breaking community were also hired during 2017 to help promote the video submission process and assist WDSF in enlisting international competitors to submit videos online.

"WDSF worked with several partners to find funding solutions for the participation of the young b-boys and b-girls.

"The objective was to ensure a level playing field for everybody, regardless of the financial means of the dancer-athletes and their families.

"Several of WDSF’s national member federations provided support.

"So did SGB Events and WDSF.

“All dancer-athletes' parents were made aware that they would have to cover part of the costs in connection with qualifying.

“In the end, everyone who qualified for the 2018 WDSF Junior World Championships in Tokyo had the option to participate and funding support was made available by WDSF to many participants.”

The emails to the IOC and NOC members, criticising the WDSF process for Buenos Aires 2018, were sent when it emerged breakdancing was under considered for inclusion at Paris 2024. 

Breakdancing appears on course for inclusion at those Olympics after being proposed as one of four additional sports by organisers.

Breakdancing, skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing were all recommended for inclusion by the IOC Executive Board last month.

They are set to be provisionally approved at the IOC Session due to take place in Lausanne from June 24 to 26.

It remains a faint possibility they could still be dropped, however, if they do not meet all the criteria set as the IOC Executive Board will make its final decision on the Paris 2024 programme at its meeting in December 2020.

The IOC will monitor the quartet of sports in the lead-up to that date.