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Ethics Committee dismisses Ward protest

NEWS STORY
23/10/2013

The FIA's Ethic Committee has dismissed David Ward's complaint regarding Jean Todt's re-election campaign, claiming the charges "vague" and "unsubstantiated".

Ward claimed that regional clubs had been effectively forced into signing 'support letters' for Todt at meetings in Montevideo and Bangkok earlier this year. Following Ward's formal complaint to the Ethics Committee last month evidence was heard in Paris last Friday, the Englishman and Todt both called to give evidence.

In an 11-page report, which Pitpass has seen, the committee concluded:

"Based on the foregoing, the Committee finds that nothing in what the Committee saw or heard gives any hint that any ethical regulation of the FIAhas been breached by Mr. Todt or any of the parties implicated.

"The Committee also did not see any evidence of any kind supporting the allegation that people were coerced into signing the Letters of support for Mr Todt. On the contrary, the Committee has received numerous letters from individual who attended the relevant meetings, albeit unsolicited, clearly showing that the Letters of support were voluntary.

"The Committee ha seen no collusion of any kind whatsoever by Mr. Todt or by any ofthe parties implicated to influence the results of the forthcoming presidential election in any unethical way. Indeed, Mr Ward asserted several times at the hearing that he was not suggesting any conspiracy or wrongdoing by Mr Todt. His complaint in reality was about the FIA Statutes, in particular article 9.4, which requires a list of candidates to be provided including seven Vice-Presidents for Sport. However, the Committee questions the choice made by Mr Ward to raise his point at this moment of the election process.

"As put forward by Mr Ward himself, he has been serving the FIA for 20 years and knows the legal framework very well. It is therefore inappropriate for such an experienced executive, particularly for someone who is currently running for the FIA Presidential election, to challenge the regulations before the Ethics Committee in the heat of the elections.

"It is not the role of the Ethics Committee to review the regulations related to the election process. It is the view of the Ethics Committee that proposals made by Mr Ward could be raised and deliberated by the appropriate FIA Body.

"The Montevideo agreement and the Bangkok letter of support are not binding on the clubs in any way whatsoever. This is the admitted position of Mr. Todt as well.

"Also, Mr Todt has acknowledged and asserted in his response that the Presidential election will be by secret ballot. The fact that people have made declarations of support or have publicly nominated Mr Todt is not relevant. When they vote, this will be by secret ballot. They will be absolutely free to depart from any declaration they have given previously. Therefore, there is no breach of article 7 of the IRs.

"Elections must be impartial, free and fair. That goes without saying. The Committee thus found unanimously that the facts reported to it do not show that Mr Jean Todt and the parties implicated have breached either the regulations mentioned in the Complaint or any other FIA ethical rule."

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