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Ben Sulayem: 'FIA is the target of accusations against me'

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has personally responded to the recent allegations made against him.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem
To news overview © XPBimages

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has launched a vehement defence of his leadership following what he has described as "despicable" attacks against him and his organisation.

Ben Sulayem has been forced to respond after he was recently the target of a whistleblower who made allegations concerning last season's Saudi Arabian and Las Vegas Grand Prix.

That sparked an investigation by the FIA's Ethics Committee who eventually cleared Ben Sulayem, citing there was “no evidence of interference”.

It was alleged Ben Sulayem had attempted to interfere with the result of the last year's race in Jeddah to reverse a penalty issued to Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso.

Alonso was handed a 10-second time penalty for serving an in-race sanction incorrectly before the decision was later changed, reinstating the Spaniard to the podium.

Additionally, it was suggested Ben Sulayem had attempted to obstruct the track certification process for the inaugural Las Vegas GP.

In a letter to members of the FIA, a copy of which was seen by The Associated Press, Ben Sulayem said the allegations "shocked the FIA" and that they "created a period of unprecedented turbulence and challenges".

'Reputation has been tarnished'

He stated the allegations were intended to "destabilise me as president of the FIA but also to question the integrity of our respected organisation".

He added: "These events have one clear purpose: to strike at the heart of our leadership and undermine the foundation of our federation" which had been "the victim of malicious leaks of confidential and sensitive information, which have tarnished our reputation and caused concern among our members.

"But despite these attacks on my character and our organisation as a whole, we are stronger and the resolve is greater than ever before.

"We know that the ultimate goal of these despicable acts was to target me and weaken the very essence of the FIA."

He further said in the letter he is committed to "an environment of transparency, accountability and unwavering integrity within the FIA", insisting he "remains true to his commitment" as FIA president.

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