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GP Week : Issue 72
Briatore slams "sham" FIA FLAVIO Briatore will argue that the hearing of the World Motor Sport Council which resulted in his lifetime ban from motorsport was a "sham" when he appeals its decision in front of the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris later this month. Briatore, who will seek to annul his and former colleague Pat Symonds' bans and will also claim €1 million (US$1.5) in compensation for damage to his reputation, will argue that the decision of the WMSC had at its root a vendetta on the part of former FIA president Max Mosley who, Briatore claims in documents leaked to the press, had been "clearly blinded by an excessive desire for personal revenge." The FIA itself expressed its disappointment that Briatore had leaked information about the forthcoming case to the media. "The FIA rejects the allegations made in these leaks and confirms that the decision to impose a sanction against Mr Briatore was made by an overwhelming majority of the attending World Motor Sport Council members," a statement read. Briatore however fought back, claiming to Reuters that, "according to declarations by one of its own vice- presidents to the media, the world council's decision was rather the outcome of secret negotiations on the eve of the sham hearing." Briatore is thought to be unlikely to win his case, as the ramifications of him doing so would be vast for world sport as it would effectively take away the right of a sporting body to determine who is and who is not permitted to compete in its championships. Furthermore, any success on Briatore's part could set a precedent which would ultimately lead to every sporting penalty being appealed through the court system. Should the Tribunal de Grande Instance find in the FIA's favour, Briatore is expected to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights. F1 NEWS >> 10