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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
McLaren to answer FIA spy charges
McLaren team boss Ron Dennis
Dennis has maintained his team's innocence throughout the spy row
McLaren have been summoned by Formula One's governing body, the FIA, to face charges of breaking the sport's rules.

The team are embroiled in a spying row following claims their chief designer Mike Coughlan illegally received information from rivals Ferrari.

McLaren face charges at a 26 July hearing of "unauthorised possession of documents and confidential information belonging to Ferrari".

Coughlan has already agreed to tell Ferrari how he got hold of the data.

Following an internal investigation, the FIA has called McLaren to answer charges of breaching Article 151c of the International Sporting Code.

That rule relates to "any fraudulent conduct, or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition, or to the interests of motor sport generally".

I can comfortably say this will not end in anything that causes McLaren any embarrassment

McLaren boss Ron Dennis

In a statement the FIA said the information "could be used to design, engineer, build, check, test, develop and/or run a 2007 Ferrari Formula One car."

Coughlan was suspended last week by McLaren after a 780-page dossier of Ferrari design information was found in his house.

Ferrari have accused Coughlan and his wife Trudy of stealing that information.

A hearing at the High Court on Wednesday was cancelled when Coughlan agreed to provide an affidavit to explain how he acquired the documents.

606: DEBATE

McLaren team boss, Ron Dennis, has maintained the team's innocence throughout and is confident the FIA will clear them of any wrongdoing.

Speaking at last weekend's British Grand Prix, Dennis said: "I can categorically state there are no developments whatsoever that have occurred on our cars relating to this.

"I can comfortably say this will not end in anything that causes McLaren any embarrassment."

If McLaren are found guilty the FIA has the power to expel the team from the championship or deduct points.

McLaren's British rookie Lewis Hamilton leads team-mate Fernando Alonso by 12 points in the drivers' standings, while McLaren have a 25-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors' race.

SEE ALSO
Coughlan to reveal all in spy row
11 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Mosley clears Honda in F1 spy row
07 Jul 07 |  Formula One
McLaren caught in Ferrari spy row
04 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Ferrari mechanic denies sabotage
24 Jun 07 |  Formula One
Honda on defensive in spying row
06 Jul 07 |  Formula One


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