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fat cats

Some will remember the contentious election in 2020 for the position of World Sailing President with the incumbent Kim Andersen narrowly defeated by China’s Li Quan Hai.

A large part of Andersen’s fall from grace were accusations made in the run-up to the election of his alleged impropriety (subsequently found to have no case to answer) which were being investigated over the election voting period.

Those allegations were largely driven by IOC Vice President Ng Ser Miang of Singapore and overseen by Swiss lawyer Dieter Neupert who was acting chairman of the World Sailing Ethics Commission.

After a long process, no doubt further delayed by the likes of COVID and other factors both Ng and Neuport have been found guilty of a “conflict of interest” and acted improperly during the ‘investigation’ into the allegations against Andersen.

They have both been given an official warning and a US$1,100 fine – basically a slap on the wrist. On the other side of the equation, their actions resulted in, at the very least, unwelcome, unethical, and unprecedented influence on World Sailing’s internal affairs, to wit the election of the president of the sport of sailing’s governing body.

The victor in that election, Li Quan Hai who, at least partly, campaigned the promise of delivering millions in financial support to World Sailing is yet to deliver.

It is only a personal opinion but comparing the non-delivery of the victor to the peppercorn fine doesn’t really provide much balance. Sadly we doubt that such self-interest within World Sailing is not limited to a couple of Ethics Commission members and a good start might perhaps extend the official warning to a lifetime ban from sports governance. What is that old saying about a leopard never changing its spots? 

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