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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 March 2008, 12:38 GMT
Stepney avoids Formula One charge
Nigel Stepney
Stepney escaped charge for last season's spy scandal
Former Ferrari engineer Nigel Stepney has escaped being charged by Formula One's governing body.

Stepney was sacked by Ferrari for passing data to former McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan - something Stepney has admitted.

But even though he has escaped action, the FIA has advised teams that it would be inappropriate to employ him.

Last year McLaren were stripped of their constructor points and fined 50m because of the spy scandal.

606: DEBATE

"As Mr Stepney is not a licence-holder of the FIA, no formal action may be taken against him under the International Sporting Code," the FIA said in a statement.

"As a matter of good order, the FIA recommends to its licensees that they do not professionally collaborate with Mr. Stepney without conducting appropriate due diligence regarding his suitability for involvement in international motor sport.

"This recommendation stands until 1 July, 2009."

The FIA statement also said Stepney had admitted being involved and had apologised to the FIA, although he disputed the seriousness and extent of his involvement.

And, while the FIA has drawn a line under the matter, Italian police and a prosecutor in Modena, Ferrari's home province, are conducting a probe into the scandal.

The FIA may want to do some due diligence themselves before simply accepting one side of the story

Nigel Stepney

Stepney admitted he was "delighted that the FIA have backed down" from their threat to impose a ban.

He insisted it had taken six months for the FIA to even approach him for his version of events and that Coughlan had obtained very limited information as a result of his carelessness.

"They may want to do some due diligence themselves before simply accepting one side of the story," he said.

"Frankly, I should have known better. But it sure as hell wasn't the 780-page dossier the FIA saw and which I've just been shown for the first time by the Italian authorities."



SEE ALSO
Stepney goes before prosecutors
07 Feb 08 |  Formula One
Stepney blames McLaren's conduct
21 Jan 08 |  Formula One
McLaren face new 'spygate' threat
09 Sep 07 |  Formula One
Ferrari's spy row appeal date set
08 Aug 07 |  Formula One
Ferrari fury over McLaren verdict
26 Jul 07 |  Formula One
McLaren off hook in F1 spying row
26 Jul 07 |  Formula One


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