There’s spying and then there’s, you know, spying

New England Patriots Bill Belichick was fined $500,000, and the Patriots were fined $250,000 and some draft picks for spying on the New York Jets defensive signals during last week’s game. What’s interesting about this is that it’s not even close to the biggest sports fine levied yesterday. No, for that we have to go ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast.

New England Patriots Bill Belichick was fined $500,000, and the Patriots were fined $250,000 and some draft picks for spying on the New York Jets defensive signals during last week's game. What's interesting about this is that it's not even close to the biggest sports fine levied yesterday. No, for that we have to go to Formula One racing. The New York Times' Brad Spurgeon explains: McLaren Mercedes, the leading team in the Formula One championship, was fined $100 million Thursday and excluded from the constructor?s title in connection with the spying scandal that has plagued the sport all season. The International Automobile Federation, the sport?s governing body, found McLaren guilty of cheating by using data obtained from Ferrari, its main rival, to improve its own car, the federation said in a statement issued following a hearing in Paris.... It was the harshest punishment given to a team in the 57-year history of the sport. The federation, known as F.I.A., said it had stripped McLaren of all its constructor?s points in the Formula One world championship, and the team can score no points for the remainder of the season. F.I.A. added that the team would not share in the sport?s revenue this season, either.... The spying scandal broke in early July, when Ferrari accused McLaren of using data given by a Ferrari employee to a McLaren employee to improve the quality of its racing car. The police had found documents regarding the Ferrari car at the home of Mike Coughlan, McLaren?s technical director, in England. Ferrari said it thought its former employee, Nigel Stepney, who had been frustrated by organizational changes at Ferrari this season, had provided the information to Coughlan.A question to the three people in the known universe who are acolytes of both Formula One racing and the National Football League: While even I can determine that McLaren's actions were more egregious than Belichick's, were they 200 times as egregious??

New England Patriots Bill Belichick was fined $500,000, and the Patriots were fined $250,000 and some draft picks for spying on the New York Jets defensive signals during last week’s game. What’s interesting about this is that it’s not even close to the biggest sports fine levied yesterday. No, for that we have to go to Formula One racing. The New York Times’ Brad Spurgeon explains:

McLaren Mercedes, the leading team in the Formula One championship, was fined $100 million Thursday and excluded from the constructor?s title in connection with the spying scandal that has plagued the sport all season. The International Automobile Federation, the sport?s governing body, found McLaren guilty of cheating by using data obtained from Ferrari, its main rival, to improve its own car, the federation said in a statement issued following a hearing in Paris…. It was the harshest punishment given to a team in the 57-year history of the sport. The federation, known as F.I.A., said it had stripped McLaren of all its constructor?s points in the Formula One world championship, and the team can score no points for the remainder of the season. F.I.A. added that the team would not share in the sport?s revenue this season, either…. The spying scandal broke in early July, when Ferrari accused McLaren of using data given by a Ferrari employee to a McLaren employee to improve the quality of its racing car. The police had found documents regarding the Ferrari car at the home of Mike Coughlan, McLaren?s technical director, in England. Ferrari said it thought its former employee, Nigel Stepney, who had been frustrated by organizational changes at Ferrari this season, had provided the information to Coughlan.

A question to the three people in the known universe who are acolytes of both Formula One racing and the National Football League: While even I can determine that McLaren’s actions were more egregious than Belichick’s, were they 200 times as egregious??

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner

Tag: Sports

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