The FIA has set up an online whistleblower hotline where suspicious conduct or rule breaches can be reported anonymously to help the governing body improve the sport’s integrity.
A sign of the times, whistleblower schemes have popped up in every sector of society, allowing individuals to confidentially alert a governmental or private organization about suspicions of unlawful or unethical behavior.
The concept is considered to perform a preventive role and force people or companies to think twice before committing acts of fraud or corruption, or cheating in the case of motorsport.
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The FIA’s Ethics and Compliance Hotline will cover suspicions of financial misconduct, bribery, corruption, and fraud, as well as issues related to sporting integrity and the manipulation of competitions, or alleged violations of the FIA anti-doping regulations.
The Hotline will be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be used “for raising legitimate, reliable and documented concerns of misconduct regarding.”
The FIA says that any ill-inspired or abusive use of the hotline could result in “criminal and civil action” against the reporting party.
“Using the platform intentionally, recklessly or negligently in order to make a false or misleading representation for causing harm will result in a discarded report and possible disciplinary measures (including civil claim or criminal charges),” stated the FIA.
The initiation of the whistleblower scheme follows the FIA’s truncated investigation last year of Ferrari’s 2019 power unit.
During its investigation, the governing body received an anonymous complaint about a ploy exploited by the Scuderia’s to circumvent fuel flow restrictions.
However, the FIA’s engineers could not conclusively prove that Ferrari’s complex system had breached the rules, but the probe nevertheless resulted in a controversial confidential agreement between Ferrari and the FIA to ensure the legality of the team’s engine in 2021.
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