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Page last updated at 10:03 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 11:03 UK

Mosley will not attend Bahrain GP

Max Mosley
Mosley is to take legal action against those who exposed his private life

Motorsport boss Max Mosley has abandoned plans to attend the Bahrain Grand Prix following newspaper allegations about his private life.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) president would be "detained by legal matters", his spokesman said.

Mosley was accused by the News of the World on Sunday of taking part in a "Nazi-style orgy in a torture dungeon".

The Crown Prince of Bahrain wrote to Mosley on Tuesday advising him not to attend this weekend's race.

In a letter subsequently published by the Times, Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa wrote: "With great regret, I feel that under the current circumstances it would be inappropriate for you to be in Bahrain at this time.

"Clearly of paramount importance is the success of the event for all concerned - the Kingdom of Bahrain, Formula One and spectators.

"The focus, quite rightly, should be on the race."

Mosley, 67, has apologised for any embarrassment caused by the report.

He has pledged to carry on as FIA president, said any "Nazi connotation" was "entirely false" and pledged to take legal action against the newspaper.

"I will not allow any of this to impede my commitment to the FIA," he said.

Mosley's decision follows advice from Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, who said the Bahraini royal family "would not like" his attendance.

Mosley, the son of former British Union of Fascists leader Oswald Mosley, has been FIA president since 1993.

A representative of the road-car manufacturers involved in F1 said they had no comment at this stage.

F1 teams have no direct influence on Mosley's position - he is elected by the FIA membership of national automobile clubs and motorsport bodies and his latest four-year term does not expire until October 2009.

The body that can bring direct pressure on to Mosley is the FIA senate, which is made up of senior representatives of the national automobile and sporting clubs.

Below that are two FIA world councils, one representing the automotive industry, and one from the sporting side.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Automobile Club, Britain's representative on the world council, said the organisation had no comment.

"These are allegations only and we wouldn't comment on rumour and speculation - and certainly not on people's private lives," she said.

BBC 5 Live motor racing commentator David Croft said he understood the world council had given Mosley its full backing and members had offered their personal support.

see also
Defiant Mosley vows to fight on
01 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Mosley asked to drop Bahrain trip
01 Apr 08 |  Formula One

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