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Shanghai circuit boss fired

NEWS STORY
21/05/2007

Yu Zhifei, general manager of the Shanghai International Circuit, has been fired following an investigation into corruption.

Since late 20065, Yu Zhifei had been "assisting" a police investigation into corruption, namely the alleged misuse of the city's multi-billion dollar pension fund. It is understood that a number of leading businessmen and officials are implicated. The investigation centres on the alleged misuse of "at least" one-third of a $1.2bn pension fund in order to make investments in real estate and various other deals, in addition to illegal loans.

According to reports in the state media, Yu Zhifei has been sacked for using company money to pay for a house and "other illegal behaviour". In addition, he has been expelled from the Communist Party along with two other senior officials.

A number of other official have lost their jobs, including Chen Chaoxian, the former deputy Communist Party chief of Shanghai's Changning district, who was dismissed from his post for taking a "huge amount of cash from benefactors", and Ling Baoheng, Shanghai's top official in charge of state-owned assets, who was found to have taken bribes.

Previously, the country's most senior Communist Party official in Shanghai, Chen Liangyu, was sacked after being accused of seeking benefits for relatives and various companies.

It is unclear whether Yu Zhifei, described as a "flamboyant figure" will face criminal charges.

In January, circuit chairman Mao Xiaohan declared that the SIC was not involved and that Shanghai remained committed to the Grand Prix and international motorsport.

Who would ever have thought that the terms "Formula 1" and "corruption" would be mentioned in the same article? Absolutely shocking.

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