News 30 Sep 2009

General: FIM president sends out open letter warning riders


Ladies and gentlemen,

Following many incidents between riders that have taken place during races since the beginning of the season and comments made by riders that were published by the media, as FIM President, I would like to make the following remarks:

Our sport has the privilege of being seen on TV by millions of viewers and covered by hundreds of media worldwide. Our fans admire the riders’ courage and talent. These are two key ingredients that make us one of the most popular sports in the world.

Riders must also be highly focused, have very strong nerves and make correct decisions in order to make a successful career. Of course, this supreme effort exhausts physical and mental reserves and, as a consequence, it is possible to make mistakes. But this state of “agonistic trance” cannot excuse unfair behaviour in competition, as we have seen recently. This is precisely why this kind of behaviour must be severely punished. But worse yet is what has just happened when the lack of fair play extends beyond competition, with vulgar and offensive remarks towards the opponents. This is even more unforgivable.

We must show to our huge audience not only how spectacular our sport is, but also how important fair play is to us. Most riders are respectful of sporting, moral and ethical values.

Therefore, we cannot allow anyone achieve victory or act unfairly or dishonestly. I really hope that this will not happen again and that the spirit of chivalry which has always distinguished our champions will prevail.

If such incidents take place in the future, it is clear that the FIM will not hesitate to intervene and take necessary disciplinary action against the riders concerned.

Yours sincerely,
Vito Ippolito