Spain launches corruption probe into Valencia GP

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso from Spain celebrates his victory during the European Formula One Grand Prix in Valencia. (Andres Kudacki/AP)

MADRID — Spain’s Prosecutor’s Office has begun an investigation into alleged corruption and embezzlement in the awarding of contracts to hold the 2012 Formula One race in Valencia.

The writ names Francisco Camps, a former president of the Valencia region, Dolores Johnson, a tourism official, and Jorge Martinez, a shareholder in Valmor Sports, the company that Camps assigned the hosting rights to after securing them from F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone.

The writ asks Valencia’s courts to investigate alleged irregularities, including how Camps allowed a private company with no experience in motorsport and only 12 employees, to operate the multimillion-dollar event.

The writ names Camps as a suspect in cases of misappropriation of public funds and corruption.

Valencia hosted the European GP for five years to 2012, but not another F1 race since then.

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