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The FIA has promptly ended their investigation into a potential conflict of interest involving Toto and Susie Wolff.

The FIA, which regulates Formula One, has dropped its probe into Mercedes’ team boss Toto Wolff and his wife Susie due to a potential conflict of interest. This decision essentially acknowledges that neither party had any wrongdoing, putting an end to a highly embarrassing situation for the FIA and its leader, Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

On Tuesday the FIA had announced it was to investigate an allegation that confidential information was being passed between a team member and a member of the sport’s owners Formula One Management (FOM). It was centred on Wolff and his wife, who is the managing director of the F1 Academy, the all-female series run by FOM.

The decision to investigate appears to have been prompted by one, unsubstantiated media report alleging Wolff had made a comment that could only have been informed by information from a member of FOM personnel. The FIA cited “media speculation” over the issue as part of its rationale to investigate but there was little beyond that single source.

The response was quick. Mercedes firmly denounced the investigation, as did Susie Wolff, who described it as “offensive” and based on “intimidation and sexism”. FOM also took a strong stance, cautioning against making reckless and unfounded accusations.

The next day, in a highly unusual occurrence, all 10 F1 teams released nearly identical statements stating that they had not raised any concerns about the sharing of information and unanimously showing their support for the F1 Academy.

Their actions caused the attention to turn to the reason for the FIA’s investigation and led to a surprising change of stance on Thursday evening when they declared that there was no wrongdoing to be addressed.

After examining Formula One Management’s F1 Code of Conduct and F1 Conflict of Interest Policy, and ensuring that necessary precautions have been taken to prevent conflicts, the FIA is confident that FOM’s compliance management system is strong enough to prevent unauthorized release of confidential information,” stated the FIA.

The FIA has verified that there is currently no investigation regarding ethical or disciplinary matters concerning any individual.

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The organization in charge of the sport is likely hoping that this decision will bring an end to the embarrassing situation, especially since their annual awards ceremony is coming up on Friday. However, their actions in handling the situation will still face intense examination.

There has been no explanation provided for the reason behind the investigation, the decision to make it public, and how it was resolved so swiftly. The events of the week may have also caused significant harm to the relationship between the governing body, the teams, and FOM.

Source: theguardian.com