Members fighting against change at the FIS appear to be crossing ethical lines. According to the FIS Council minutes from the July 5th, 2022, meeting, rules are being ignored.
While there is positive news to report from the council meetings, in reading the minutes, it is clear the feud between the FIS and powerful European national governing bodies is far from over. Additionally, It appears some may not be following the rules.
SRM quotes the disturbing minutes under a sub heading Legal Updates.
Following the court decision in favor of FIS, Tridem has initiated litigation against FIS.
FIS 2021 World Ski Championship claim against Infront:
FIS has made a claim against Infront in regard to the Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina 2021. Infront has thus far refused to pay what it is owing to FIS.“
SRM comments that the financial issues between Infront Sports and Media and the FIS are just beginning. At present, it appears that protracted legal battles will likely continue.
Ethics violations for leaked documents
“Leak of confidential FIS documents sent to Council member Franz Steinle: Confidential FIS documents have continuously been leaked to the media. It has been found, beyond any doubt, that confidential FIS documents sent to Council Member Franz Steinle were in the possession of members of the media. Franz Steinle denies any wrongdoing. This is a serious matter, which is currently under an independent investigation. The outcome will be shared in due course with the Council. Sanctions imposed may include a reprimand or a period of ineligibility on the violating party of a minimum of three (3) months and a maximum of life.“
SRM reports two points of interest concerning the allegations. Primarily, the German Federation has a complicated financial relationship with Infront Sports and Media. The economic relationship gives the German Federation an incentive to act in the interest of Infront. Secondly, our research reveals that Franz Steinle is a former President of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Stuttgart. Consequently, these allegations of ethics violations are even more disturbing.
Ethics violations concerning coercion
“Allegations of coercion, vote manipulation, and violation of the FIS Ethics Code in connection with the 2022 FIS Council Election in Milan:
There have been complaints from two parties concerning an alleged violation of the FIS Ethics Code in connection with the 2022 FIS Council Election in Milan. It has been alleged that delegates of nations with Council candidates were coerced to boycott the presidential vote by several countries including Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and Croatia. An investigation is currently underway and an update from the investigation will be provided at the next Council meeting. Sanctions imposed may include a reprimand or a period of ineligibility on the violating party of a minimum of three (3) months and a maximum of life.“
SRM has reported some voting representatives walked out of the room during the vote to reaffirm Johan Eliasch as president. It now appears that two of those representatives are claiming they felt coerced.
Court of Arbitration for Sport
“CAS Appeal regarding FIS Presidential Election:
A CAS appeal from four Member National Ski Associations (Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Croatia) regarding the FIS Presidential election in Milan has been made.“
SRM reports that these four NGBs voted for acclamation the day before the vote. Despite that, they walked out the following day protesting the election procedure.
We have reached out to the FIS, but they will only refer the minutes to us. We will continue to report on this ongoing issue as information becomes available.