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Sports

French court overturns Briatore life ban

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-01-05

A French court on Tuesday overturned a decision by Formula One's governing body to ban former Renault boss Flavio Briatore from motor sports for life. The ban was for allegedly ordering Nelson Piquet junior to crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

AFP - A Paris court on Tuesday ruled in favour of former Renault boss Flavio Briatore, overturning a lifetime suspension from motor sports imposed by Formula One's governing body, FIA.
  
The high court "ruled the sanction illegal," citing "irregularities" in FIA's decision in September to ban Briatore for allegedly ordering Nelson Piquet junior to crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
  
The scandal centred on driver Piquet junior's claims that the team had ordered him to crash deliberately at Singapore to enable teammate Fernando Alonso to go on and win.
  
Briatore had fiercely denied any involvement in the scheme, dubbed "Crashgate".
  
The court said it judged "irregular the September 21, 2009 decision of the world council of the FIA regarding its rulings concerning Messrs Briatore and Symonds."
  
Briatore had insisted that the punishment he received last September from motor sport's governing body, the FIA, had no legal basis.
  
The World Motor Sport Council had found Renault breached its sporting code, adding the affair comprised conduct of "unparalleled severity".
  
The Paris court awarded Briatore, who had been seeking a million euros in damages from the FIA, a mere 15,000 euros while former Renault technical director Pat Symonds, who had been handed a five-year ban, also had the suspension overturned.
  
Symonds had sought 500,000 euros in damages but received just 5,000 euros.
  
The court also called on the FIA to notify its members of Tuesday's judgment within 15 days or face a daily 10,000 euro penalty.
  
Representatives of Symonds and Briatore insisted that the procedures followed in the investigation into Crashgate contravened the FIA's international sporting code.
  
The FIA did not take action against Piquet after he blew the lid on the affair.
  

Date created : 2010-01-05

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