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EXCLUSIVE – THE APPEAL OF CARMELO EZPELETA REJECTED. ASKED FOR AN INVESTIGATION ABOUT JEREZGP 2012

Carmelo Ezpeleta

SkeetGp

It happened at last, it had to happen. A real earthquake in the world of motorsport. The distrect court judge of Cadice has decided to open an investigation on some facts that would involve the action of Carmelo Ezpeleta, the top manager who checks the activity of the World Championship of Motorsport.

He in person would be investigated for alleged irregularities in the concession (as top manager of Dorna) of the Gran Prix of Jerez (season 2012), one of the most important tests of the official calendar.

According to reports in the El Espanol, the court of Cadice has rejected the appeals lodged by the CEO of Dorna Sport after in December 2016 a complaint was lodged against him.

This report in question was lodged last year by the labor union "Manos Limpias" and is referred in connection to the alleged irregularities in a management contract with the Circuit de Jerez Sa (Cirjesa).

One of the four lines of enquiries, after a lawsuit concerning the granting of the season 2012 (linked to the Gran Prix of Jerez), has been opened concerning the activities of "Speed Circuit of Jerez SL", a society connected to the same manager of the circuit.

Dorna Sports SL, has always held all the ownership rights of the MotoGP, it has always signed the management grant contracts of the grand prix for the different circuits.

In 2012, the usual procedure of granting suprisingly changed. This would have happened to benefit the company which, according to what the Prosecutor has claimed, shares the managerial direction of the Circuit de Jerez, “Mr José Ramón García, being sole shareholder is already the CEO” of that same Company.

There is a need to explain better the complaint of “Manos Limpias” and that leasing agreement.

In 2011, Dorna Sports S.L. and Velocidad Circuit de Jerez signed a leasing agreement, an arrangement under which this last one had to pay a very costly payment which could be estimated at 2 million Euros. According to the documents of the Court, both the companies " stipulated a Participation Agreement for the economic benefits of the event, based on the breakdown equal to 70/30, but there has been financial losses and nothing has been paid to Dorna Sports."

Even the management of the complainant the labor union has been pursued by the ordinary justice in April 2016, inside the so-called "Operation Nelson", the documentation introduced in the report has drawn attention to the prosecutors' investigation. This last one seems determined to see this through on a payment of 2 million Euro, expecially since according to the lawyers of Carmelo Ezpeleta, the payment made would have been made only 700 thousand Euro. It cannot be understood where the difference is (1,3 million Euros). Consequently, the judges of the VIII section of the provincial Court of Cadice, with its headquarters in Jerez, will want to get to the bottom of this.

Ezpeleta, for the record, denied any liability in the financial transaction, by starting that, in his position of n.1 of Dorna Sports, the company operating the world championship of MotoGP, the only year when the company has not paid directly to Cirjesa has been in 2012, because of a whole series of defaults of the grand prix’s manager.

According to the defense of Ezpeleta "...the solution not to lose the prize in the present case has been (from Dorna Sports, ndr) to grant the contractual rights to Speed Circuito de Jerez."

These claims, however, are not entirely convincing the judges of the provincial Court, who now want to be clear on the whole story (reported for first time from El Espanol).

This story that we tell as SkeetGp, is based on the analysis of the Iberian website, it certainly is not a beautiful news for Ezpeleta, for Dorna and for the image of the sport-business Iberian / international. We are absolutely supporting the defence of civil and legal right (“garantisti” in italian) and therefore to be investigated does not mean to become, by necessity, "guilty", but it is equally true that there is a need for greater transparency in this world, from the motorsports.

We often talk about "house" or "houses" of glass. How cool to be able to have also in this "world" a greater focus upon the theme of the transparency, in the business as in the contracts. Unfortunately, to this day we don't have this "perception." The transparency is not an empty word, it should be given to the right contents. When, a long time ago, we asked for an interview to the staff of Ezpeleta, why the interview has not been granted? Why cannot we set any questions, but above all to receive answers?

For those who receive this type of request, it should not be a bother to answer and to give explanations and to seek further clarification. It must be a delight to be able to tell how a complex financial market like the World Moror Bike Championship is managed. And instead... we then read the news that arrives from Cadice and since we are on the subject thinking and in our (as well as in our heads) heart we will eventually make our own reflections of the case.