Mosley mess keeps building

DEAN MCNULTY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:34 AM ET

MONTREAL -- The Max Mosley sex scandal just won't go away.

The 68-year-old boss of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) -- Formula One's governing body -- is now facing allegations that he orchestrated the vote in his favour at this week's attempt to oust him from his job.

Just to bring everyone up to date, Mosley was videotaped in a sex romp with five prostitutes in a London hotel earlier this year. In the video Mosley is seen yelling at the girls in German while they appeared dressed in clothing resembling that which Jews were forced to wear on the way to Nazi gas chambers in the Second World War.

Adding fire to the flames of outrage was the fact that Mosley' father -- Sir Oswald Mosley -- was a well known Nazi sympathiser during the war.

But calls for Mosley's firing effectively were doused when he crushed his opponents in a 103-55 vote margin at an emergency FIA meeting in Paris on Tuesday.

Now it has been revealed that most of the votes supporting Mosley came from third-world countries, a majority of which don't even have a sanctioned FIA event, yet still have a vote in the organization's disciplinary committee.

Officials at FIA admitted after the vote that Mosley had authorized first-class airfare and accommodation at top hotels in Paris for the delegates who he knew would back him in his bid to keep his job.

While his actions were not illegal, or against any standing FIA rules, it certainly tainted the outcome.

Yesterday as F-1 prepared for the Canadian Grand Prix -- its sole appearance in North America this season -- the heavy hitters of the sport are aiming their guns directly at the disgraced Mosley.

The biggest bullet came from Bernie Ecclestone, the diminutive Englishman who runs F-1 like a private fiefdom. In an interview that appeared in yesterday's Independent newspaper, Ecclestone urged Mosley to quit in the face of the rising tide of controversy that surrounds him.

"Max should stand down," Ecclestone said. "For me it's a difficult situation because I run the Formula One Group of companies, and the teams are violently opposed to him."

Ecclestone pointed to the FIA vote result and said because of how it came about, it meant nothing.

"I knew he would win (the vote), there was no way he could lose," he said.

After all is said and done, however, the real sign that Mosley won't survive the scandal is that he is now a persona non grata at F-1 events.

He has stayed away from racetracks since the allegations surfaced, but was expected to attend the race in Monaco last weekend and Canada this weekend.

But a move by Monaco's Prince Albert, decreeing that Mosley be banned from the event, effectively ended any comeback attempt.

"Prince Albert made it very clear that he did not want him on the grid, and that he would have security around him so that if Max did appear they could not be seen together," Ecclestone said.

Shortly after that Mosley's office issued a notice he would not attend at Montreal this week either.

With such high-profile officials shunning him, the rest of the F-1 travelling circus has been increasingly vocal about not wanting anything to do with Mosley and his sex-capades.

In fact in the wake of the FIA vote, both Germany and South Africa immediately indicated they will withdraw their nations from the organization in protest.

It is expected that Canada, the U.S. and the Netherlands -- all of whom have played host to F-1 events -- will follow suit.

Ecclestone, who is Jewish, faces a dilemma in that he has always touted his friendship with Mosley as part of the glue that holds F-1 together and has defended him on other, less serious allegations.

"What many people don't understand is that he enjoys confrontation," Ecclestone once said of Mosley.

While that may be true, it is also true that Mosley has put himself in the centre of an ugly, ethnically charged incident that at this point there is no coming back from.

It's doubtful that he's enjoying the current contretemps and Ecclestone and the rest of F-1 should step up his efforts to rid the sport of this black mark.


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