6 October 2004
FIM calls for sportsmanship, respect.
The following is 'an open letter from FIM president Francesco Zerbi to all riders of all disciplines and to the FIM officials in charge of enforcing the rules'.
The letter calls for all competitors to set an example to the 'hundreds of millions of worldwide spectators' by behaving in 'the most correct way possible' and 'respecting the rules'. Zerbi also encourages officials to enforce those rules as required.
Although not mentioning any specific individuals, events or championships - the letter mentions only 'things that have happened during recent weeks' - it will doubtless be seen as a direct response to last Saturday's Qatar Grand Prix, in which protests, counter protests and open bitterness followed the now infamous late night grid cleaning activities of Gauloises Yamaha and Camel Honda.
Zerbi might also be referring to the first turn accident at the preceding Japanese Grand Prix, in which Loris Capirossi escaped unpunished - despite John Hopkins being handed a one race ban and a fine for making a near identical mistake at the same circuit in 2003:
"The things that have happened during recent weeks compel me to write to you the following:
"The sport since antiquity has been an example of good behaviour, loyalty and correctness. Today, in particular, with fast and widespread communication systems, the sporting champions, and particularly our champions, are seen by hundreds of millions of spectators and represent an example to be followed, especially by the young.
"All the sportsmen who compete, but especially the champions, have a civic and moral duty to behave in the most correct way possible, not only on the track but also outside competition venues, because they represent an example which is to be followed by young people.
"This is the reason why all you riders must be aware of the fact that you are not only a symbol of strength, courage and skill, but also an example of loyalty, correctness and respect for the rules.
"The FIM must take into account the interests of all the parties that constitute our world and must determine and enforce the standards which make possible and govern the running of our Championships.
"It is for all these above-mentioned reasons that I invite the riders to remember their duties towards all the amateurs and I invite our officials to be vigilant towards the respect of the rules and to intervene, as is their duty, in cases of infraction made by anyone.
"Convinced that you will understand the spirit that motivates this letter, I wish you all a good journey.
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