9/23/09 – The actions of the Renault Formula 1 team in arranging a crash at the Singapore Grand Prix last year, and what many feel were inadequate punitive measures handed down by the World Motor Sport Council for ‘compromising the integrity of sport' continued to make waves this week.
The European Sports Security Association (ESSA) came out strongly against the punishment – a suspended sentence allowing Renault to continue to compete to the end of the season – which it described as ‘lenient.' The security association suggested the creation of an independent global body to tackle corruption in sports.
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In elaborating on its position, ESSA said the measures taken against Renault reflected the dangers of self-regulating sports bodies, and emphasised an urgent need for a global body with similar independent powers to those wielded by the World Anti Doping Agency.
“It’s in the interest of all sports bodies to promote their own sports and engage in damage limitation when a scandal breaks," observed ESSA secretary general Khalid Ali "This means that they often don’t apply the rules as rigorously as they could or should, or hand down the tough penalties that would act as effective deterrents. This latest episode is a prime example.”
Ali added: “It is unacceptable for sport federations to use the issue of sports integrity as a pretext to seek additional revenues from the gaming industry, when it is the members of sports federations themselves – whether players, coaches or officials – who are routinely found to be the origin of corruption in sports.”