An FIA spokesperson said: “The FIA takes allegations of abuse very seriously and addresses all complaints using robust and clear procedures”; Sulayem sent a letter to F1 team bosses in February in which he announced he was to relinquish the hands-on running of the governing body
Last Updated: 26/04/23 8:26am
The FIA says “due process was followed” in the departure of a former employee after sexism allegations emerged against its president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
According to The Telegraph, Shaila-Ann Rao – the FIA’s former interim secretary general for motorsport – wrote a letter accusing Sulayem of sexist behaviour before her departure in December.
An FIA spokesperson said: “The FIA takes allegations of abuse very seriously and addresses all complaints using robust and clear procedures.
“As part of this, the FIA has an anti-harassment policy, an anonymous whistleblowing facility and an investigation procedure and all staff are made aware of these through an induction and regular training.
“With regards to the specific allegations surrounding Shaila-Ann Rao, due process was followed, with an amicable negotiation conducted by the President of the Senate and as such, no referrals were made to the Ethics Committee.
“As previously stated, both parties agreed she would leave her position in November 2022 and mutual privacy terms were agreed as is common business practice.
“With regards to the other allegations, there have been no complaints received against the President.”
Sulayem, who was elected president of world motorsport’s governing body in December 2021, sent a letter to F1 team bosses in February in which he announced he was to relinquish the hands-on running of the governing body.
In a letter to the 10 teams, he said: “My stated objective was to be a non-executive president via the recruitment of a team of professional managers, which has now been largely completed.
“Therefore, going forward, your day-to-day contact for all matters on F1 will be with Nikolas (Tombazis, director of single-seater racing) and his team, while I will focus on strategic matters with my leadership team.”
Sulayem has now appointed the FIA’s first chief executive officer, Natalie Robyn, a former automotive industry executive, and its first equality, diversity and inclusion advisor, Ukrainian Tanya Kutsenko.
The FIA statement added: “As part of the restructuring of the FIA that was initiated by the President and under the leadership of our new CEO, we are actively reviewing the entirety of the FIA organisation with a deliberate and sustained effort to create an excellent culture that fosters collaboration, empowerment, and purpose among our employees.
“Should the FIA ethics committee or compliance officer receive any complaint from a member of staff it will be dealt with in a comprehensive manner by our panel of independent elected ethics committee members which has been in place since 2012.”
Source : https://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12040/12866584/mohammed-ben-sulayem-fia-says-due-process-followed-after-sexism-allegations-against-president?rand=3094