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Sports Shorts: Hamilton does a U-turn on F1 chief comment

June 28, 2019 11:52 IST
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A summary of sports events and persons who made news on Friday

Five times world champion Lewis Hamilton told reporters at last Sunday's French Grand Prix that those running the sport should be neutral.

IMAGE: Five times world champion Lewis Hamilton told reporters at last Sunday's French Grand Prix that those running the sport should be neutral. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

Lewis Hamilton performed a U-turn on Thursday and said his Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff would be the right man to run Formula One, days after saying the next person to do the job should be an outsider.

The sport is run by American chairman Chase Carey, representing commercial rights holders Liberty Media, whose future at the helm after 2020 is the subject of paddock speculation.

Carey has said nothing about stepping down, while Wolff has tried to distance himself from the chatter by saying he is not contemplating a move from a team chasing a sixth successive constructors' and drivers' title double.


Five times world champion Hamilton told reporters at last Sunday's French Grand Prix that those running the sport should be neutral.

"I've been a bit conflicted the last few days," he said at the Austrian Grand Prix on Thursday. "I made a comment but I don’t feel like I probably got out exactly what I was meaning.

"Over these past couple of days I was thinking to myself, you know, bringing someone in that doesn’t know much about Formula One is not necessarily the right decision.

"I think Toto could do a pretty special job."

The question of who runs the sport post 2020 is a sensitive issue to teams, who are working with the governing body and other stakeholders on major rule changes aimed at making the sport more equal and improving the racing.

Hamilton had alluded to the Ferrari past of Jean Todt, president of the governing FIA who previously ran the Italian team at a dominant period in their history, when he spoke on Sunday.

"I know Jean is level, but the fact is he’s been with the red team for so long, surely when he wakes up, if there’s a red T-shirt and a silver T-shirt, surely he goes for the red one," said the Briton.

"Just like when I get out of bed and see 44 (his racing number) or six (former team mate Nico Rosberg's). I will go for 44. Toto has been Mercedes through and through for such a long period of time.

"I think the best is someone from outside who is neutral, if that is possible," he had said.

AIBA amends bylaw to keep Rakhimov out of fresh Presidential elections

Expelled by the IOC, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has amended one of its bylaws to keep controversial former President Gafur Rakhimov out of fray when elections are held for the top post in November this year.

In a statement to PTI, Russian Boxing Federation's Secretary General Umar Kremlev, who is also an AIBA Executive Committee member, said that the world body is going to make peace with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through a variety of measures.

"Today we removed the article 16.3 of the bylaw so that he (Rakhimov) could not return, and we voted for the Congress, which will take place on November 15 (in Lausanne) and on which we will elect the new AIBA leadership," Kremlev said.

IOC on Wednesday stripped AIBA off the rights to conduct the 2020 Olympic Games' boxing competition, completely revising the qualification process as well.

As a result, the world championships this year, to be held in Russia, will no longer have Olympic qualifier status and the quotas will be decided by continental championships followed by a world qualifier next year.

Rakhimov, an Uzbek businessman accused of organised crime by the US Treasury Department, had stepped aside earlier this year under intense IOC pressure but not ruled out a comeback. He took over the top post last year despite IOC's reservations about his credentials.

Kremlev's statement came after an AIBA Extraordinary Executive Committee meeting which was held in Geneva on Thursday.

The initiative (to remove the bylaw which could have helped Rakhimov) was supported by 13 members, one against, eight abstained.

"Today we have united and made serious decisions, got rid of the man who deceived the entire boxing community, saying that he would pay off all debts and find a common language with the IOC," Kremlev said.

"He brought AIBA to the risk of bankruptcy. He should apologize to the entire boxing community," he added.

Kremlev said he and Ukrainian Boxing Federation President Volodimyr Prodivus also announced a "vote of non-confidence for the AIBA Interim President Mohamed Moustahsane and the chairman of the Ethics Committee Jost Schmid, as he is a supporter of the former leadership".

Besides, a commission was set up to discuss the "restoration of AIBA with the IOC under Giorgio Brugnoli (England Boxing)".

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