First manufacturers now motoring organizations. Reaction to FIA president Max Mosley's sex scandal grows. Although the U.S. sporting representative to the FIA was not forthcoming, a spokeswoman for the American Automobile Association, one of the...
First manufacturers now motoring organizations. Reaction to FIA president Max Mosley's sex scandal grows.
Although the U.S. sporting representative to the FIA was not forthcoming, a spokeswoman for the American Automobile Association, one of the first sanctioning bodies of American motorsport, suggested Friday that Mosley step down. Representatives of Germany's motoring organization contacted Mosley recommending he "very seriously consider" his position. And a spokesman for the Dutch motorsport organization said his group favors ousting the Briton whose term in office could expire before its scheduled end date in 2009.
A statement on AAA's website signed by Yolanda Clark Cade, the association's managing director for public relations, read:
Recent events involving the leadership of the FIA have been very distressing and embarrassing. While this matter may be viewed as private by some, the damage to the image of FIA and its constituents is clearly public. For an organization -- and its leader -- to exercise the moral authority required to represent millions of motorists and sanction the activities of motorsport, they must uphold the highest standards of ethical behavior. AAA recognizes that Mr. Mosley has dedicated many years of his life to advancing the interests of mobility and motorsport. However, after careful consideration, AAA has conveyed to Mr. Mosley that it would be in the best interest of all concerned if he were to step down."
Mosley last weekend was subject of a London tabloid cover story alleging a "Nazi orgy" with prostitutes at a West London address. Mosley has denied Nazi implications and apologized to FIA members for any embarrassment the story caused. He said he would pursue legal action against the newspaper, a News Corporation property. He then called an extraordinary meeting of the FIA General Assembly to address the situation. An FIA spokesman said the meeting would be scheduled as soon as practicable.
Carmakers BMW, Mercedes, Toyota and Honda, all of which participate in FIA-sanctioned, billion-dollar Formula One, issued statements this week to indicate their concern about such allegations being made about the head of an organization like the FIA.
"I have lots of responses, just not for the public at this time," said Nick Craw, president of Automobile Competition Committee for the United States, the FIA's national sporting authority for the United States. Craw, who said he had yet to receive formal notification of the assembly meeting, said no position has been taken on Mosley continuing in his unpaid post as president.
ACCUS represents the major sanctioning bodies of U.S. motorsport, Grand Am, IMSA, Indy Racing League, NASCAR, NHRA, SCCA and USAC, and liaison to the FIA Craw now has had an extraordinary meeting of the FIA's General Assembly piled onto his schedule. Craw said he doesn't think the assembly meeting will be held before June.
The organization representing German motoring interests sent a letter to Mosley, the content of which was released in a statement. The ADAC asked the Briton to "very seriously consider" his position as president of international motorsport in the wake of tabloid headlines about his private life. The ADAC added that "the appropriate FIA process" should take care of the matter.
The FIA General Assembly is the governing body on which sit 222 representatives from 130 countries. The assembly can decide Mosley's fate. FIA members represent 100 million people on issues including safety, mobility, environmental issues and consumer law. The nonprofit FIA sanctions motorsport competition and confers three world championships, in Formula One, rallying and touring cars.
Mosley's problems surfaced in the same week the United Nations decided to hold its first-ever road safety summit, in Russia next year, an event for which the FIA campaigned.
A spokesman for KNAF, motorsport federation of The Netherlands, told BBC Sport that his organization will vote to oust Mosley when the general assembly meeting convenes. The president of Israel's auto club, Yitzhak Milstein, told BBC Sport he was shocked by the allegations. He said Mosley's conduct with the club had never been anything but proper and correct.
Commercial rights holder for F1 Bernie Ecclestone, whose racing association with Mosley goes back 30 years or more, continues to maintain that Mosley's private life does not affect his ability to perform his duties as FIA president, for which he does not take a salary.
"I'm happy with Max. I don't have any problems at all with Max," Ecclestone told BBC radio in Bahrain.
Mosley was first advised by Ecclestone then asked by the kingdom's crown prince not to attend this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix because the commotion surrounding him would detract from the race.