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Former World Sailing President Andersen facing possible sanctions for alleged breach of ethics rules

by Liam Morgan/Mikkel Thommessen 1 Nov 2020 01:46 PST 1 November 2020
Kim Andersen at the meeting of World Sailing's Council at the 2019 Mid-Year Meeting in London, Great Britain on Sunday 19 May, 2019 © Daniel Smith

The authorative newsletter and website InsidetheGames.biz says former World Sailing President Kim Andersen is facing possible sanctions after the Ethics Commission found he may have breached rules by signing a contract with a consulting firm, allegedly without the approval of the Board.

insidethegames understands the officer overseeing the case has decided to "lay charges" against Andersen amid claims he broke ethics rules by signing a deal with Burson Cohn & Wolfe, then called TSE Consulting.

News that Andersen could be sanctioned comes on the eve of the announcement of the result in the World Sailing Presidential election between the Dane and vice-president Quanhai Li.

Rumours this week have suggested Li has defeated Andersen, but official confirmation will not come until the result is revealed during World Sailing's virtual Annual General Meeting tomorrow.

According to the initial ethics complaint, the contract with TSE - which worked on Andersen's successful election campaign in 2016 - "was potentially irregular, the Board was not properly informed, was not put out for public tender and the President’s conflict of interest was ignored".

The Norwegian publication Seilmagasinet has reported the deal was signed in November 2016, shortly after Andersen unseated incumbent Carlo Croce to become World Sailing President.

Andersen has denied wrongdoing and is able to appeal the decision of the Ethics Commission - which he has repeatedly criticised after claiming the panel has been biased against him.

He has enlisted the services of London-based law firm Mills & Reeve to help fight the ethics cases and has filed his own complaint against Ng Ser Miang, a vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The now former President alleges Ser Miang had been actively trying to oust him from the position by supporting rival candidate Gerardo Seeliger.

The Dane had also been the subject of two other Ethics Commission cases in the lead-up to the election.

Norwegian sailing journalist Mikkel Thommessen has comprehensively investigated the last two of the three Ethics cases taken against Andersen

Writing on October 30, Thommssen reported:

In case number three against Kim Andersen, the so-called TSE case which the World Sailing Ethics Commission has now dealt with, case spokesperson Laurence Burger has submitted his report. The report itself is not yet available, but the commission's head Dieter Neupert has in his annual report to World Sailing concluded that Andersen has broken the union's code of ethics by acting without the board's approval in hiring consulting firm TSE in a major assignment for World Sailing, shortly after the same company performed services for Andersen in connection with the election campaign prior to the presidential election in 2016. Burger finds it proven that TSE assisted Andersen in the election campaign, even though the services were paid for by the Danish Olympic Committee and the Danish Sailing Union.

Laurence Burger concluded that Kim Andersen has violated the World Sailings Code of Ethics.

Thommsssen says Andersen will have proceeding taken against him by World Sailing's Ethics Committee under Regulations 36.13 to 36.17.

If a case is proven as indicated by Ethics Commission Dieter Neupert, then Andersen will be subject to a penalty described in the Regulations 35.7.1(g) which authorises the suspension or removal from office in the case of World Sailing officers or World Sailing Representatives.

However with the results of the election for the office of President to be announced on November 1, there is a chance the Ethics Committee may be beaten to the punch by the ballot box.

UpdateOn Sunday World Sailing's Council unseated Andersen, electing Quanhai Li (CHN) as President for a four year term. It is not known whether the Ethics Committee will proceed against Andersen, as there is now no penalty that can be imposed.

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