NASCAR & Auto Racing

Embattled world racing boss won't be attending Bahrain GP

LONDON — Max Mosley, the embattled president of auto racing's governing body, will miss Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix because of legal issues stemming from his involvement in a sex scandal.

Mosley has said he will take legal action a British tabloid that accused him of engaging in sexual acts with five prostitutes in a scenario that involved Nazi role-playing.

The 67-year-old executive had been scheduled to attend the Formula One race and join the Bahraini Royal Family for a formal dinner. He will instead stay in Britain.

Meanwhile, TimesOnline, the web site of the Times Cos. newspapers in the United Kingdom, reported that Mosley was told "in no uncertain terms" by the kingdom’s crown prince, Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, not to attend. A story on the site called the prince's letter "an embarrassingly clear sign that Mr. Mosley’s reputation has been severely damaged."

"The FIA president will not be attending the Bahrain Grand Prix as scheduled," the racing organization said Wednesday in a statement to The Associated Press. "We understand that legal matters detained him in London."

On Tuesday, Mosley rejected calls to step down, writing a letter to FIA officials saying he was embarrassed by what the News of the World reported, but adding there was no "Nazi connotation to the matter."

A video posted Sunday on the newspaper's Web site showed a man identified as Mosley arriving at an apartment and then engaging in various sex acts with several women, at least one in a prisoner's uniform, while also speaking German. The video can no longer be found on the newspaper's Web site.

Mosley is the son of British Union of Fascists party founder Oswald Mosley, a former British politician who served in Parliament for the Labour and Conservative parties. Oswald Mosley died in 1980.

Some in the sport have called for Mosley's resignation, including 1979 F1 champion Jody Scheckter. But F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has essentially backed Mosley, saying what the FIA president did was "nobody else's business."

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