Ward would demand Todt action

David Ward has called for Jean Todt to be sanctioned if found to be guilty of breaching the regulations with regard to the forthcoming FIA presidential election.

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Ward, running against current president Todt, fears the credibility of motor sport's world governing body is at risk unless the laws are adhered to with regard to the election process.

A fortnight ago Ward filed a complaint to the FIA's Ethics Committee regarding to what he felt were Todt's attempts to distort the election process.

Ward claimed Todt was using FIA resources to attend meetings with member clubs during which they were asked to sign formal written commitments to support the Frenchman's re-election bid in the form of 'support agreements'.

Ward even posted a photograph on his campaign website that showed Todt holding up a letter of support following a meeting in Uruguay in March, long before the election process began.

That drew a stinging response via a letter from Jorge Tomasi, the president of FIA's Region IV that covers South America, who suggested Ward's claim of impropriety was "offensive".

In response, Ward insists "the use of support agreements or letters well in advance of the presidential election period is, in my opinion, a serious breach of the FIA laws, rules and regulations which threatens to undermine the fairness and transparency of the Federation's 2013 presidential election".

Ward also believes a further support letter was signed by some clubs attending an FIA regional meeting held in Bangkok on April 1 in which they offered "unswerving support" to Todt.

Ward believes Todt has breached not only the FIA's Code of Ethics, but also the body's statutes and internal regulations, and as such should be penalised.

In his letter to Tomasi, and issued to all FIA member clubs, Ward writes: "I strongly believe that the integrity of the FIA election process is of paramount importance.

"The FIA is the key regulator of motor sport's most prestigious world championships.

"It has the duty to ensure the fairness of these competitions, to discipline those that break the relevant sporting regulations, and to provide a right of appeal.

"The same principles should be applied to the FIA's most important internal competition, its own presidential election.

"The FIA must be seen to be trusted as capable of running all its competitions fairly, transparently and according to the rules. If not its entire credibility is put at risk.

"To use a sporting metaphor, the support letters are like an illegal practice or a 'jump start' that has given Jean Todt an unfair advantage in the FIA's election race.

"They should not have happened, and the breach of the rules should be investigated and subject to an appropriate penalty."

With the Ethics Committee investigating, Ward added: "I think at the very least it would be in the best interest of the FIA if all the support letters signed before 6th September now be revoked.

"By declaring them to be null and void, all the clubs involved would be released from any obligation they feel they may have unwittingly made before the election process had officially begun.

"The FIA membership can then engage in the election process transparently, without prior commitment, and make their choice based on a fair comparison of the candidates and their respective manifestoes.

"I trust you accept that this is what the FIA's 2013 presidential election should be all about."

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