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Mosley claiming 'unlimited damages' against tabloid.

Embattled FIA president Max Mosley last night started a legal battle with the Sunday tabloid that published a lurid story about his private life, writes Ian Parkes.

Shocking revelations emerged in the News of the World that have this week placed Mosley's position as one of most powerful men in motorsport under severe threat. Although Mosley subsequently apologised to all facets of the FIA for any embarrassment caused, he cited "a covert investigation" to discredit him had been undertaken.

The newspaper printed allegations there was a Nazi connotation to the sex scandal, a claim the 67-year-old Mosley said was "entirely false."

Now he is determined to pursue the matter through the courts, with a statement confirming: "Lawyers representing Mr Mosley have today served proceedings against the News of the World claiming unlimited damages."

Mosley, though, appears to be facing a greater battle to save his job than he perhaps first anticipated. This week he stated he had received a large number of messages of sympathy and support from within the FIA and the motorsport and motoring communities.

But over the past few days, a groundswell of negativeness has slowly started to rise against him, with calls growing for him to resign.

It is almost certain that, regardless of the furore enveloping him, Mosley will resolutely stand firm until his fate is decided at an extraordinary general assembly of the FIA later this month. The assembly comprises 222 national motoring organisations in 130 countries. Mosley's fate rests in their hands.

If the Dutch, German and Israeli motoring organisations are an indicator of the general feeling around the world, Mosley's 15-year reign is approaching the end.

The Dutch motorsport federation, KNAF, will vote against Mosley at the meeting likely to take place in Paris. "Because of his highprofile position, this can't be accepted,"

KNAF president Arie Ruitenbeek said.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 5, 2008
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