Support for Contest Cheating Crackdown
by: Jamie Dupree NS3T
July 26, 2010

2009 CQ WW DX SSB Cheating Crackdown Wins Broad Support From Ham Contest Community

A second straight year of high profile disqualifications and rules warnings by the CQ WW Contest Committee is winning worldwide support in the ham radio contest community, as contesters say the get-tough approach is the right way to deal with cheating.

Congratulations on starting to penalize cheaters,” said Jarda Loufek OK1TC. “It should have started many years ago.”

“I could not agree more wholeheartedly with CQ’s decision and would hope that more every contest sponsor will follow,” said Alan Leith VE1AL.

“Thank you CQ for finally leading the way,” Leith told

“I am so happy that someone is finally doing something about the issue,” said Roger Huntley W7VV in an email to “However I guess I am really surprised at the extent of what has been exposed.”

The flood of positive comments came after the release of printed results for the 2009 CQ WW SSB Contest, which showed 7 “Red Cards” and 4 “Yellow Cards” were issued by the CQ WW Contest Committee, along with a decision to move 29 stations into the Assisted category.

The biggest DQ was the Red Card given to QRP claimed score leader Barney Bandrack DK8ZB, who was disqualified for “self-spotting and unverifiable contacts” from KP4KE in Puerto Rico.

Some of the self-spotting was uncovered in the post-contest spotting report done by David Robbins K1TTT, who found that his own callsign was being used to spot KP4KE through the EA4RH-5 node in Spain.

“It would appear that KP4KE doesn’t like me much since he has shown up in these reports a couple times,” wrote Robbins, who reported finding 19 K1TTT spots of KP4KE via EA4RH-5.

Earlier this year, Robbins also found that the same EA4RH node was also used to submit fake spots by K1TTT in the 2010 ARRL DX CW Contest.

KP4KE also had a series of cheerleading spots from KP4FP, with comments like “Working Pacific,” and “Working EU and Asia” from DX Summit.

“I have to applaud the committee,” wrote Julius Fazekas N2WN, “I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision.”

Fazekas and others also saluted CQ Magazine for listing 29 different stations who were moved into the Assisted category, after they were challenged over their non-assisted log submissions (see list at right).

Some of those were contest veterans, others were newcomers to contesting like Ashraf Chaabane 3V8SS in Tunisia.

“When I understood the truth from CT1BOH, I said YES, I was “assisted” with DX Cluster,” Chaabane told

Others said it was a misunderstanding as well, like HK1X, who said “My intention of declaring the Assisted category” was obvious on his 3830 submission.

But the answers weren’t so simple for some of the others that were moved into the Assisted category.

“Sorry to see some prominent callsigns on the list,” N2WN added, saying “the best thing” is that “it’s out in the open versus behind closed doors.”

Some of those “prominent” calls included Teddy Jiminez HI3TEJ, a WRTC 2010 qualifier; Alex Panou YO9HP, a top CQ WW finisher at A45WD; and Phillippe Lutty LX7I, a top European operator and multi-op host.

“I think the reason cheating has become more rampant is because the cheaters were NOT made public,” said Tom Osborne W7WHY.

“It is good that the committe has courage to move participants from one category to another when strong evidence exists,” wrote Mats Strandberg R3/SM6LRR.

“A lot of operators have become so addicted to the cluster that they seem to consider this as Non-Assisted operation.”