An appeal from former International Chess Federation (FIDE) general secretary Ignatius Leong of Singapore against a two-year ban has been dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Leong was barred from having any role within the sport in September of last year by the FIDE Ethics Commission, along with former world champion Garry Kasparov of Russia.
The duo were suspended following a vote-buying controversy, where Kasparov was accused of agreeing a deal with Leong in 2013 to ensure he replaced incumbent FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who has led the organisation since 1995.
It was claimed that Kasparov asked the Singaporean official to secure over 10 electoral votes in return for a cash sum of $500,000 (£401,000/€470,000).
The alleged contract also featured other perks and demands, including that a new FIDE office would be set up in Leong’s homeland if Kasparov was elected President.
Ilyumzhinov found out about the scheme and filed a complaint to the FIDE Ethics Commission in May before triumphing over his fellow Russian in the Presidential election in August.
The race itself was laced with political undertones, with claims that Kasparov, a public critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had hoped to paint his rival as a mouthpiece for the Kremlin.
Neither Kasparov nor Leong disputed the allegations, it has been reported, although the Singaporean did tell The Straits Times that he had not done anything wrong.
"I do not think what I have done is wrong," Leong, who served as FIDE general secretary from 2005 to 2014, told the newspaper.
"I wanted things to be written down in a contract to show that it was not just hot air but that something real would be done.
"It [the ban] is unfair because the judgment was based on the draft agreement [with Kasparov].
"They jumped to conclusions based on a draft agreement and I do not agree with the verdict."
Leong then attempted to get his ban overturned at the CAS but the body has opted to rule in favour of the FIDE.
"The appeal filed by Mr. Ignatius Leong against the World Chess Federation with respect to the decision of the FIDE Ethics Commission dated 5 September is dismissed," the CAS verdict read.
"The decision of the FIDE Ethics Commission dated 5 September is upheld."
Leong was also ordered to pay CHF5,000 (£4,000/$5,000/€4,700).