An open letter to Gérard Saillant (oh yeah Jean Todt too)

Dear Gérard,

Imagine my surprise at learning that you were in my hospital last week. You actually got on the train from Paris to come here to Liège! It’s a pity you didn’t call me ahead of the visit – we could have had a cup of coffee. Or you could have beeped me to say hi once you got here. But I guess that actually being face to face with someone is not your style. Come to think of it, it never really has been, has it? You did fire me via email!

Imagine my surprise to learn that despite having heard nothing from you or your boss since being fired, YOU ACTUALLY CAME TO MY HOSPITAL BECAUSE OF ME. You made an appointment with the Dean of my medical faculty, to speak about me. Then travelled 2 1/2 hours . . . for me. I’d be flattered if I wasn’t so . . . shocked. But let’s not dwell on the fun we could have had together in Liège, and look instead at what exactly you came here for. I think it’s important that people understand just how you and your boss work.

You came here to try to get me fired.

Not from the job you already fired me from. That one was basically a hobby. A very serious, very time-intensive hobby. No, now you’re aiming higher. You and your boss want me fired from the job that pays my rent. The one I’ve held for 25 years. Wow. Were you wearing a black trench coat and fedora? Maybe I’m glad I wasn’t there. Perhaps you also had instructions to break my knees!

You came here with a dossier consisting of printed copies of my blog posts. And a copy of a personal email TO ME (!!!) from Corinna Schumacher. OMG. An email I actually never received. Probably because it was addressed to “garry.hartstein@…”. Seriously? I get scores of emails EVERY DAY from people all over the world who spent all of 30 seconds finding my email address. But the wife of one of the world’s most famous and wealthy sportsmen isn’t capable of carrying out that difficult task? You’ve got to be kidding me. Hell, dude, even YOU (trusted advisor to “the family”) had my email (again, that’s how you fired me!).

You came here to raise the issue of whether THIS blog violated my contract at work and could therefore be a reason to fire me, or at least to muzzle me.

Now you worry me. Maybe you should sit down. That’s better. Let’s talk.

Let’s just look at the facts, ok?

1) This blog makes no claim to represent the opinions of anyone other than myself. And while my bio may mention that I studied and work at the University Hospital of Liège, no other mention is made of this fact. All blog-related activity, then, is part of my personal life. Period.

2) Doctor-patient confidentiality is never violated, for two pretty good reasons. First of all, Michael is not and (other than the stuff that came up over 15 years of F1) never has been my patient. Second, I make perfectly clear that NONE of what I wrote in the days, weeks, and months following Michael’s accident was based on anything other than conjecture and experience.

3) When opinions are expressed, they are clearly identified as such, and are never presented with an intent to harm. This intent is abundantly clear, and is even explained on numerous occasions.

So you see, Gérard, if you’d have put your thinking cap on before flitting off to “le Paris du nord”, you’d have realised the absurdity of your project. My blog has nothing to do with my job. In fact, things like “privacy”, and “free expression” come to mind – not as sterile principles, but as LAWS THAT YOU ARE ON THE CUSP OF VIOLATING. You and your boss.

You have acted like a hoodlum. What you have done was not unexpected, but was thuggish and disgusting. You might wear expensive suits and a Patek Philippe, but your tactics are from the gutter.

Be aware that I’ve referred the “dossier” you handed over to the Dean to my attorney. You are on very very thin legal ice.

Word to the wise?

Shut up, back off, and watch out.

201 thoughts on “An open letter to Gérard Saillant (oh yeah Jean Todt too)

  1. Great, just great. One year on and Saillant has now turned on Streiff as well. Whether or not Streiff is lying about contact with Corinna via Saillant and claiming to have knowledge about Schumacher which may well be unreliable, I consider it extremely poor form to accuse a man who believes you saved his life of lying.
    On Sunday night Saillant issued a statement saying that he had not had “the slightest verbal, written, or physical contact” with Streiff in the past year.

  2. @BonnieB

    Thanks for your words! You are so right!!

    One year ago…
    and Gary is still speculatiing, posting and what ever else…
    It thems for me that Gary he has a serius problem…
    cannot live whithout publicity…!!!

    Gary, this is internet and you hot a löst of publicity… and
    you know this…

    So everything of these painfull speculations you are writing
    the Last 12months are not and no longer privat!!

    Where is Michaels and his familys privacy?? Shame on you!

    Michael Rolf

  3. You have to be pretty dumb (like some comments here) to think the Schumachers are worried about sponsorship contracts or that they are evil scheming people wanting a doctor to lose his job, shows how little people know about this family but nevertheless feel so free to discuss, criticize and condemn them when they have absolutely no clue.Pathetic attempts to be a smartass. The family has enough money.Don’t worry about them. A quick note about Streiff – he NEVER went to see Michael and surely he will never do.Believing all you read in papers/websites makes you look not quite intelligent.The only worse people are those who claim to be “fans” but cannot show a grain of understanding for the family’s wishes.They are the people (and no one else) who know Michael the best, what he would want and what he would not. And, Mr formerdoc, I assure you that if Michael could tell you his opinion about what you’ve been doing for months, it would not be pleasant to your ears, which by the way, seem not so used to hearing opposing views, just open to flatter;).

    • RE: “Mr formerdoc, I assure you that if Michael could tell you his opinion about what you’ve been doing for months, it would not be pleasant to your ears, which by the way, seem not so used to hearing opposing views, just open to flatter;).”

      That is open to your own speculation, even though you have written “…I assure you…”, by which you appear to suggest that you have inside knowledge, somehow….

      I have never met Dr Gary Hartstein, but from what I have read on this site, IMHO, I don’t believe anything that Dr Gary has personally written, merits him being spoken to in an unpleasant way.

    • Dear Bonnie
      Let me first raise my hand to admit that I am one of the dumb ones who said that if I were to take a CYNICAL view of the situation, perhaps the contracts could be a motivation. Perhaps though, you have a better knowledge of the family finances, than most. However, we do know that contracts are going away, and like any wise business manager, decisions would have to be taken as to how to how to protect, stem, or at least delay the inevitable. One of the ways, is to not allow any real information out. I also said that I hoped this was not the reason (however misguided) for the assault on Dr. Hartstein’s livelihood. In fact if you have any intelligence, and objectivity whatsoever, you would ask yourself, why is only Doctor Hartstein the target? Over the last 12 months, many experts in the field have come out with quotes and articles on the effects of traumatic brain injuries, such as Michael’s, and situations where patients have been in induced coma for such prolonged periods of time. Why has the Doc been singled out by the FIA. The answer is because he is a former insider, who was scathing in his criticism of the FIA very recently, in the way they handled the Bianchi investigation. These despicable characters could have very easily manipulated a complaint out of the Schumacher family to suit their needs. Remember how close Saillant and Todt are to the family. This is not me being a cynic. There are people who take advantage of the bereaved, all the time, those who have no moral compass, those who for personal reasons try to get other people fired.
      Purge your venom, and look at the realities.
      The Doc’s is one opinion among many experts, many of whom seem to share his.
      Oh yeah, and one other thing, why would Strieff lie? Haven’t seen your intelligent answer to that question!

    • Don’t shoot the messenger and just try to think why Gérard Saillant should try to get Gary Hartstein sacked. Think of poor Bianchi, almost overlooked now with all the focus back on Schumacher.

      It is documented that Philippe Streiff visited the hospital in Grenoble and spoke to the media on Michael’s 45th birthday. He was condemned then for speaking out but you can’t deny that he was there. His latest round of interviews were talking about disabled people in general as much as answering questions about Schumacher – I don’t think even he is claiming that he has seen Schumacher recently but he is very close to Gérard Saillant who has likely talked to him about Schumacher. He believes that Salllant saved his own life. Jean Todt’s son also manages Bianchi and information about Bianchi is also very likely reaching Streiff who is disabled himself as as result of a racing accident in Brazil.

      It is one year on Monday since Michael’s accident. You are welcome to believe anything you wish but I believe that quote below from Philippe Streiff is more than likely to be an accurate representation of the current position. We are extremely unlikely to ever see his MRI scans but if we did I expect we could see the huge holes in his brain where the ventricles have expanded. He won’t be the person he was one year ago whatever you would like to believe.

      Streiff, who is himself wheelchair-bound since a crash in Brazil during pre-season tests in 1989 left him a quadriplegic, spoke to French magazine Paris Match. He said Schumacher is “very seriously disabled” and is unable to move or speak. The Frenchman, who is a good friend of Schumacher’s, said: “With his wife Corinna, he communicates with his eyes.

      “He’s starting to show signs of consciousness.

      “This is of course not the same disease as locked-in syndrome but the result is the same: You can not move, can not talk, you can not do anything, he is enclosed in his body, but communicates by blinking his eyes.”

  4. Having been an F1 fan, and a Michael Schumacher fan in particular, I have looked to your blog for information and insight every few days since his accident.

    I have found it to be most helpful in understanding his situation and have additionally learned a great deal about head injuries and their aftermath. At no time have you stated that you speak for Michael or his family, and you have made it abundantly clear many times that you are only speaking in terms of the experiences you have dealt with in the past that may or may not apply to Michael.

    I, too, had the unfortunate experience of being let go of a job in a very shady and misguided way, so I can empathize with what that must feel like to you. I think you should fight back with all the resources at your disposal. Having been yourself fired before by e-mail is most cowardly and speaks volumes about someone who would be a party to such unprofessional tactics. Bullies do not like to interact face-to-face if they can avoid it. How ridiculous that you must now deal with these people again.

    I am firmly in your corner, and I hope that you can enjoy your holidays the best you can without this hanging over your head. Delight in your holiday, and worry about these cowards another day. All the best.

  5. Dear Gary & all.
    Up until about 10am (Australian time) today, I was totally unaware of the existence of your blog, read about the (As)Saillant bastardry, via Joe Saward’s blog, and, within, oh, an hour, I realised that your blog will have its part in going over my data limit. I’m hooked. Seems (As)Saillant has scored a couple of own goals- failed to get you sacked, left himself open to legal action, increased your readership, and, also, by reacting to in such a heavy handed way, implied that what you write is credible. Gary 4, thugs 0.
    It is understandable that the Schumacher family would want privacy, and, it is equally understandable that fans who care about Michael would crave information regarding his injury and its prognosis. Nature abhors a vacuum, humans are curious by nature, and, where information is unavailable to them, they will compensate via theories, supposition, and, at worst, wild arsed guessing.
    Whilst Michael has retired from Motorsport, that he receives income from sponsors makes him a public figure. Said sponsors aren’t slinging him $ to thank him just for being a multiple world champ.
    If (As)Saillant seeks to blame you directly, or by implication, for any loss of sponsorship income going to Michael & family, well, suggest you send him a script for an anti-psychotic!!
    I would imagine that his sponsorship contracts have hundreds of clauses, including what happens if he is unable to keep up his end of the deal. I would hope that his financial advisor(s) suggested that he invest in income protection insurance.
    As you have absolutely zero duty of care for Michael, doc, not only do you not have any breach of confidentiality occurring, you have no ability to breach confidentiality, as you have no access to his clinical care, or medical records.
    Having read your blogs on Michael, & current medical knowledge, I find them informative, and enlightening. There is nothing irresponsible about them, whatsoever.
    Michael, and his family, have made a large amount of dollars based on his public profile & marketability. It is a natural response of those who are his fans, who worship and care for him, to want to know something, anything about what ails their hero. Far better that someone with real expertise gives them the info, than some half arsed attention grabber.
    ThE thing about being a high profile public figure is that the public are interested in you- your triumphs AND your tragedies. You have every right to medical confidentiality. That right has been exercised- thoroughly. It has NOT been breached in your blog.
    Perhaps there is some dysfunctional grieving going on….?
    Cheers
    MarkR

  6. Dr. Hartstein,

    Funny thing about that FIA International Sporting Code you were discussing a while back (Someone stick a sock in his mouth – Sergio Perez). It has this lovely section that contains this fascinating rule which doesn’t specify if it applies only to competitors, entrants, officials, board members, or management of the FIA. I suspect it may be of use to you. Certainly, I would make use of it were I in your situation.

    ARTICLE 12.1 BREACH OF RULES
    12.1.1 Any of the following offences, in addition to any
    offences specifically referred to previously, shall be deemed
    to be a breach of these rules:

    12.1.1.c Any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the
    interests of any Competition or to the interests of motor
    sport generally.

  7. On point comment about flag attention, but drivers will never self control that situation. More SC is only answer and it would create better racing by closing the field. I know it is not the F1 way, but it might be time to adapt from multiple reasons. Enjoyed your insight.

  8. Doc Hartstein,

    Thanks for keeping me informed on MS’s prognoses throughout the period of darkness, imposed by his entourage. While I understand the family’s need for privacy, MS is a high media profile individual who was followed by scores while in good health…

    As to the content of your posts throughout, in hindsight, seems as though what some labeled speculation, was actually well informed professionally assessed and spot-on diagnoses based on the latest research and information available.

    As to the way this Saillant individual acted, reminds me too much of ‘old school’ lowlife persecutors. While I hope your employers are not cowered by this outrageous act of sabotage, I hope you are in a good mood for a fight.

  9. Dr. Hartstein,

    I have nothing to add but for what it’s worth my full support. As a race marshal in the UK who just happens to be “allergic” to rescue units and possibly the world’s worst patient, I find your blog most useful for understanding the very important medical aspects and implications for our sport. And I can read it without fainting, so it must be very good indeed!

    I very much hope that the FIA’s actions against you fail miserably and you continue to deliver these much appreciated insights into a world that is so important yet hard for us non medical people to understand (My day job is as a TV producer, nowhere near as important!)

    The very best of luck, from one of the guys in Orange with the pretty flags!

  10. Considering that Liege is a city of rather brave”people always ready to fight for good caus; and that your job has save life of many people here, shout next time Saillatn is coming, we will organise a good welcome for him:)

  11. Powerful people are used to getting their way. The Schumachers are powerful and FIA is also powerful. So far they have resorted to relatively minor scare tactics (for which I am sure you have a legal remedy – an injunction against them if nothing else) be careful what they do after this doesn’t get them what they want. I hope you continue to post your insightful analysis and you find a great lawyer. Just watch your back and check your brakes work!

  12. Gary,
    Of course, follow the money. Schumacher hit the rock a year ago on the 29th and no sooner did the hospital medical staff give their assessment of his condition then the family shut down dissemination all further information. Everything you said, everything said by other physicians worldwide was ridiculed as ‘speculation’. The family became combative. Why? It didn’t make any sense. MS was a hero to millions of people who adored him (and contributed to his vast coffers) yet suddenly the vault was locked and sealed.
    And now it appears it wasn’t about keeping Michael’s condition from the fans, but from the sponsors. For decades the Schumachers have lived handsomely off sponsorship money, not racing money. Sponsoring corporations are not charitable organizations; putting money where there is no return does a disservice to the shareholders.
    But I’m still mystified why Mrs. Schumacher would have signaled you out for retribution – so clumsily – and then sent an even clumsier bag man to do the deed. How could your leaving your hospital have salvaged their sponsorship income? And why has everything been handled so amateurishly? And why does all this feel like Inspector Clouseau is involved somehow?
    lm

    • It has the flavour of the Spanish Inquisition. Friends of Schumacher were isolated and pilloried for deigning to make comments. Felipa Massa was pilloried in many quarters for making a comment regarding “he looked normal” to him. Lewis Hamilton was pilloried because he said something along the lines of it was test for MS and MS was winner who overcame such tests. We heard of a clamping down on visitors – that they were not to talk about what they saw when they visited MS. Sabine Kehm went on a German chat show to pillory people who might talk about MS. There was the huge furore when someone stole MS medical notes – the ensuring witchhunt, the identification and arrest of the person involved – a person connected to an air ambulance crew – the alleged hounding of this person to suicide (not alleged), The pillorying of others with disabilities commenting on what they saw when they met MS. It all feels positively medieval. I can understand there concern but they have gone way overboard in their approach.

      Now compare all this with the family of Jules Bianchi. A completely different approach. From a medieval world to a Renaissance spirit.

    • The media has far too much power to go after in this fashion. However, one single doctor who is credible to the general public by virtue of CV and work experience is a much easier target and one that poses a greater danger by virtue of both the credibility and the lack of editorial control.

  13. However much it pains me to say so, this is clearly not the whole story nor is it the end of the story either (though of course I wish it were and Gary were left alone to do what he does so well)
    Prof. Saillant and Jean Todt, whatever we are led to believe, are not fools.
    Whether their visit to Liege was done in a private capacity, or in the name of the FIA, in the name of l’Institut du cerveau et de la moelle épinière of which Prof. Sailliant is founder, or indeed at the behest of Corinna Schumacher, they did not get on a train from the Gare du Nord to Liege one wet December day because they had nothing better to do.
    They clearly had an agenda they felt was worth putting to the Dean of Medicine, who accorded them an appointment and significantly appears not to have had the decency to inform Gary of the visit until the dynamic due had left the premises – a situation that, without the remotest knowledge of the circumstances, I nevertheless find extraordinary.
    We are all on your side Gary, but surely there is the possibility this is not so one sided and cynical a mission as so far we are led to believe.
    I mean … they might have been there to offer you your old job back again …..

  14. If you have enemies that are prepared to go to these lengths to silence you, then you must be doing something right! Keep up the good work!

  15. What a disgraceful and dilusional inappropriate misuse of power in attempting to have you fired from your job that that has no connection to F1 whatsoever. Your blog has been a lifeline for many Schumacher and F1 fans who had to suffer though extended periods of no information and little understanding of the possible medical situation . You definitely bridged the gap of alienation that many fans were feeling after the MS accident. Keep up the great work and may freedom of expression prevail.

      • Dear Doc:

        Further to my earlier comments I would like to add the following. If I take a very cynical view of the MS situation, something that happened in the last week or so, might have been the actual motivation behind the zealous silence from family and managers. It was announced that sponsors have begun to end their contracts with him. There are many millions of dollars at stake. While there is no doubt that they are wealthy people, nobody likes to lose a revenue stream, when lifestyles, medical care, etc are so expensive. Nobody wants to lose tens of millions of dollars in revenue. Had the prognosis been made clear 12 months ago, this process would have started earlier, and revenue loss would be even greater.
        The passing of time has shown that your knowledge and understanding of traumatic brain injuries, are not only accurate, but your explanations were not at all off the mark. Philip Strieffe has said that Michael is paralyzed, unable to talk, in a wheelchair, with memory issues. I have followed this blog religiously and I seen nothing pessimistic in what you ever explained. Your explanations were based on a broad sampling of different types of brain injuries, spanning a high level career in that discipline. You were pragmatic and gave a breadth of explanations that taught me many things that I never knew about the brain. The family knows the truth and realities, and the truth hurts, both emotionally and sometimes in the bank account. Again, I preface this by saying I am taking a very cynical position as the devils advocate. In truth, I hope this is not the case. I hope that the truth is that the FIA was so irritated by your condemnation (rightly so) of the investigation of the Bianchi accident, that they are using the Schumacher situation as the pretext. This I would not put past the gutter slime that they are. The fact of the matter is that the timing of the visit to your hospital has more to do with the FIA throwing their hands up in a meeting and saying, “we gotta shut this guy up!”
        What are your thoughts?

  16. I don’t feel to enter in this matter.
    In my live I’ve known tons of little, stupid people and it doesn’t surprise me they’re spread in every level of work.

    I just want to say I appreciate your job, the energy you put in something you do for free, your campaign for more security in sport and the enthusiasm in every your post.

    I wish you a great Christmas and a wonderful new year, despite these useless stones in the shoe that spend their miserable existence trying to spoil other’s. 🙂

    Keep on the good work!

  17. Hi Gary,
    I do not know what to say. Is this true? I appreciate your blog and just now I am appreciating especially the down to earth description of J S….He took the train from Paris…he had a dossier with printed-out copies from your blog…
    If we here can do something for you, please let us know.
    For now, Seasons Greetings from Scandinavia.

    • I think that his blog statements crossed the line at times, together with other blogs and articles, causing the family to have to deal with debunking speculation during what was a highly stressful time for them. I did not read all of the blogs as I grew tired of the negativity. However, a covert attempt to have Gary fired would indeed be a draconian response to that. It would be a shame to lose sight of the underlying issue, which is still most important: a man still fighting against the odds. Positive thoughts and prayers for Michael.

      • These are my thoughts exactly. The blog was initially very insightful and helped in understanding the situation. I found it grew more speculative over time. This is probably what has resulted in the situation we see today. Keep fighting Michael! We are still praying for you and believe you will overcome this.

  18. Doc I am still shocked about this.What nasty and sickening guys they are!

    I loved your blog from the beginning on and it was always insightful and helpful.
    Please keep the good work, Doc!
    I appreciate your blog!

    By the way I was also a Schumacher fan but I never liked these people around him.
    Unbelievable that these morons wants you to get fired.

  19. Corruption is at the heart of all this. Those who have followed the Leveson Inquiry in the UK will know that the central allegation was that Rupert Murdoch tried to break the civil compact of the UK by trying to control the essential institutions of a free society: press, police and politicians. Bernie Ecclestone and Max Moseley were both major players in the story. In the ‘Cool Britannia’ days of Tony Blair’s New Labour government Bernie donated a huge amount to the Labour party and F1 was allowed to continue receiving sponsorship from cigarette companies. Even today Bernie is mired in controversy over his tax affairs and allowing alcohol sponsorship in F1.

    Max Moseley is no longer FIA President because the News of the World published photos of him involved in sado-masochism – he is still trying to get these removed by google. Moseley decided to risk half his fortune to fund the legal cases against the paper because he believed that this contributed to his son Alexander’s death. He got heavily involved in ‘Hacked Off’ to curtail press excesses and the UK media are still more cautious and so are reduced to publishing more and more trivial stories.

    Gérard Saillant is following the same pattern of corruption by trying to silence Gary. One of the major remaining sources of independent information are blogs on social media from people like Gary who are not paid to produce these. This is indeed a freedom worth fighting for. Free speech can so easily die.

  20. Dear Doc:

    One can only expect things of this nature when the cast of characters involved in F1 reads like a list of who’s who in business thuggery and cronyism. I mean really , Ecclestone, Mosely, Todt , Briatore, Ballestre before them, and the list can go on and on. They are shining examples of humanity and correctness. Let me congratulate you for lighting a fire under their asses. May that fire burn long and hot.
    I am sure that your bosses have long appreciated the quality of your work, and are unlikely to succumb to attacks from the gutter. The righteous will always suffer slings and arrows, but I know that you won’t back down. Congratulations again, you inform us with panache and intelligence and are a pleasure to read.
    I have followed your blog since the accident, but have never written to you. After this episode, I could not contain my outrage, and was compelled to show my support. Bon courage!

  21. Honestly, this has everything to do with bully tactics being used to “manage” information. Regardless of MS’s current relationship with F1, it is all about F1 wanting TOTAL CONTROL over their brand. This means that any blogger who disseminates information regarding F1 that has not been vetted through F1 management is considered fair game. This attack is a spineless attempt to apply pressure to your employer regarding muzzling your future comments. If anything you had said was truly injurious to the Schumacher family or F1, why have they not send their lawyers to do their bidding? You know the answer. This is bluster, Nasty, slimy bully tactics. Ignore them; they will go away. If they have injured your professional self, please let us all know; I, for one, would be honoured in supporting crowd sourcing financial legal funding. You will win any injurious suit.

  22. Gary, first of all, keep up the good work. 2nd have you read this? Joe thinks you have a serious case, not just against Saillant, but against the FIA. I know. There are probably more fun a and better value things to do than talk to tort lawyers. Either way, please keep up your wonderful blog, which has taught me so many things about so many things. The internet at its best. http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/building-castles-in-the-sky/#comment-218561

  23. These are truly despicable circumstances, and they are deplorable not just due to potential effects that they may have on you personally, but also the chilling effect that they may have on other “best and brightest” who may consider serving the FIA.

    We see a similar phenomenon in the US where many highly qualified potential candidates have no interest in accepting senior government positions because they will be raked over the coals in a politically charged “confirmation” process in Congress.

    May this pass quickly and easily for you.

    Greg

  24. Your blog has always been insightful and honest Doc, you answer questions in a way that the working chap can get their heads around and given this latest attack from a governing body imho,it stinks. You have done no wrong and we as readers would be poorer for your absence. An attack at your source of income is low,underhanded and wrong in so many ways,i hope you find the strength to fight it and if you need any help..financial, emotional or other i am sure many of us followers will be at your side

  25. Gary,

    One wonders whether that this may NOT have been first time Gérard Saillant has used this tactic?
    If so, who out there has had their employment prospects curtailed, destroyed and eradicated? In some cases it may be the case that the victim didn’t even know it was the behind the scenes Machiavellian approach.

    From the information you have provided, about Gérard Saillant trying to get you sacked behind your back, would Gérard Saillant qualify for a F1 Machiavellian Achievement Award, with Oak Leaves & Diamonds?

  26. Interesting timing of this friendly visit. . .there hasn’t been a blog post about Michael Schumacher for several months. Maybe Professeur Saillant was busy getting his elaborate dossier bound, engraved and gift-wrapped in the interim. After all, it would be plain rude to show up with just a manila folder. Something you’ve written has clearly cut deep.

  27. Just found my way over here because of Joe. Very impressed! Another F1 blog worth reading… 🙂
    Why is the FIA trying to muzzle you? Which of your blog posts should I read too get myself up to speed?
    Keep the faith.

  28. While I can see why some of your blog posts could have sparked up controversy, given that you are, after all, a person that one could reasonably assume to be “in the know”, I find your former bosses’ behaviour disgusting and cowardly, if what you say is in fact accurate.

    It seems as though they are using Schumi’s predicament as an excuse to bully you, in which case I hope you stay strong.

  29. Hi Gary.
    It’s incredible and I am very surprised. I had an other vision of Saillant but I was wrong.
    Obviously we trust in you, be strong and please don’t give up!
    I hope see you in Nice as soon as possible.
    Very best regards

  30. I for one would like to see you fired. Not only that but sued for so many sensationalism and false information you blogged during a terrible tragedy that’s befallen over one of the most (if not the most) important and admired personalities any sport has ever seen.

    • Hello Reginaldo and others like minded. If you are going to make a claim do not make a claim based on lies or something so vague that it becomes valueless and a vehicle for potential prejudice. It does not progress discussion nor debate. You must be specific. For example you make the claim that the blog had created “so many sensationalism and false information”. This is wrong and I wonder where you got that impression from? You either haven’t read the blog and are basing your views from someone else, or else you have read a small part of it and have taken that small part out of context?

      Incidentally, your accusation is very vague – you don’t say what false “information” has been peddled. The only thing that can be determined from your comment is that you’re quite emotional over something and have the ability to conflate irrelevant matters.

    • Hey, Reg….Gary was the only one willing to speak the truth about Schumacher. You fault him for that?
      There were many here who are/where diehard MS fans and were desperate for information regarding his condition. Doc was the one person who gave his professional opinion. There was nothing coming from the wife, manager or that french turd. He gave these folks a ray of hope. He should be commended and not criticized.

      • Gary knew what he was talking about Mimi didn’t he? The only possible grounds on which he could be censored was for speaking out when Schumacher’s people didn’t want the fans to know anything at all even if it was entirely true. I think his information has been extremely accurate as people who take the trouble to go back and look at earlier posts can easily confirm for themselves. I also think that if people go back and check these posts in 2 years time (giving the diehard fans who still believe that Schumacher is going to make a miracle recovery and one day walk out of his mansion smiling) they will still find that their accuracy holds.

    • Hey Reginaldo, precisely what sensationalism and what false information? Reading the blog, I don’t see any information, but informed opinion posted with the caveat that Gary isn’t privy to any special information.
      He is however an expert in his field.
      So come on fellow, precisely what are you complaining about?
      Or are you someone else’s glove puppet?

  31. Gary,

    Censorship is all about fear. So now you know who is afraid of you. Since reading your letter early this morning it seems discussions of censorship are popping up all over the place. Perhaps the best is an article in the New York Times “Sony Caved to Terror. No One Else Should”. Written by the editor of the Danish newspaper who commissioned those cartoons of Muhammad that caused all that brouhaha several years ago.
    The opening paragraph:
    “COPENHAGEN — Sony’s decision to pull “The Interview” — an enormous act of self-censorship under threat of violence — somehow comes as no great surprise to me. It is the culmination of an insidious trend of self-censorship in the face of intimidation that has plagued Western culture for more than a decade. ”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/20/opinion/sony-caved-to-terror-no-one-else-should.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region

    lm

    • How’d you know I read the NY Times every day? For me, that’s the best part of the internet! Been following the Sony thing closely. Actually, they didnt cave, they just had nowhere to project their film. Their mistake was not giving it to Netflix or YouTube or stream it. I think that they DO intend to release it, though.

  32. Gary,
    I just read this re: Sony’s timorous response to Korean hacking. [Rolling Stone magazine]

    “I think [Sony] made a mistake,” Obama said. “We cannot have a society where some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States.” He added that the measures North Korea took towards censoring a comedy “gives you a sense of the kind of regime we’re talking about.”

    (You can know the U.S. government is on your side – if that’s any reassurance.)
    lm

  33. One would hope that the Dean had the good sense to tell this jumped up, head-bigger-than-a-zeppelin idiot to bog off back to Paris and the Poodles. I sincerely hope that you have the full support of your peers and management, you certainly have mine.

  34. I hate the politics of motorsport. If they can’t handle criticism and commentary that doesn’t put them in a positive light, then they should seriously consider getting out of the business. Period.

    Je déteste la politique du sport automobile . Se ils ne peuvent pas gérer les critiques et les commentaires qui ne les met pas dans une lumière positive , alors ils devraient sérieusement envisager de sortir de l’entreprise. Période .

  35. Disgraceful underhand behaviour. I’ve always enjoyed this blog because I believe FormerF1doc to be a man of intelligence, honour & complete integrity. The complete antithesis of this FIA worm. More power to you, sir. I hope and trust that your boss is a person of good moral standing.

  36. I just want to add – don’t let others misrepresent your blog. As far as I can tell it was basically in response from F1 fans wanting to know more about medical aspects associated with F1 and people wanting to know about brain trauma injury in general (prevention, what it is it, prognosis, treatment etc). You started this blog before the Schumacher incident and you have basically being responding to questions others have been asking. The opinion part of the blog forms only a small part of it – it’s main purpose was educative and in response to various requests for your expertise and knowledge.

  37. Hmmm I wonder if they’ll be contacting the bosses of everyone else who shared an opinion too?!

    Honestly, I despair for my sport sometimes. Those running it seem to be a) determined to ruin it with stupid gimmicks and b) utterly incapable of acting properly.

    The treatment you have received is ridiculous. Those in the higher echelons of F1 seem to think that the law (and any sense of decency) does not apply to them.

    • Yes, what about the other neurosurgeons/care workers who have given interviews to newspapers and other media about there experiences, are they going to have a visit too?

      I think the evidence points to a personal vendetta. We don’t know what took place as far as relationships between Gary and the individuals concerned. It seems to me there has been a lot of animosity and this has been used as an excuse to personally attack Gary. It just seems since Sid passed away they have had it in for Gary.

      As if we need any less Doctors working in hospitals in the world, to attempt to black ball someone out of a job without there knowledge is wrong.

      • Good point! Reducing the number of doctors working, even by one – and thereby limiting access to medical care for MANY members of the public – because of a perceived slight to egos of a couple of sport “personalities”.

  38. This is completely outrageous. I am totally stunned that he or they would do this. I have never had a high regard for the power brokers at the FIA even as far back as Balestre but Todt must be losing his marbles if he sanctioned something like this.
    It goes without saying Saillant should be dropped by the FIA immediately and if Todt had anything to do with it he should go too.
    It makes you really worry about the FIA that in 2 steps they went from Sid to someone behaving like he is in a third rate cold war spy film. That is a huge drop in 2 steps.

  39. One could analyse it. The trip to Liege. Who was he representing … who was he representing when he arrived at the hospital. Was it an official meeting. Did he sign in somewhere. Did he write his name and company down in some reception book. Who paid for the visit. What was the purpose of the meeting. What was the preparation for such meeting. What materials were used. Who provided those materials. Meetings must have been held beforehand with others, telephone calls, emails. Was this done in company time, company expenditure. What other things had they been considering. I mean this smacks of desperation, breaking cover, revealing themselves … Maybe to an insider this is just the way certain people and institutions do business … but to outsiders this is an eye opener.

  40. You have my full support. I find it unbelievable but quite revelatory. I wonder whether there is something systematic regarding such forms of undemocratic institutions. FIFA, FIA, aspects of “European Union – Commission” coercive way’s of doing “business”. FIFA and FIA are supposed to be international institutions but they seem more rooted in certain forms of continental European styles of conducting business.

  41. More power to ya Doc! Hope the rascal(s) have overstepped enough to hang themselves.
    Thanks to Joe Saward’s blog where I learned of this latest ugliness.

    • After a moment’s reflection, I find it easier to think it was them who planted and nourished the idea in Corina’s head. If I was in her shoes/situation I cannot imagine wanting to devote energy to such a course of action, even if I thought you wrongly wrote about MS. More important things to focus on I’d think.
      Gawd, I hope you can extract whatever you can from those two and make public fools of them, even more than they are now.

      • Pardon a third post, this matter so infuriates me. Coincident today I saw the following in the tech news this morning so pass it on fwiw. I so value rights, privacy, sovereignty—AND yours have been violated so at this point anything goes. Maybe another item in your menu of choices….
        http://www.toptechnews.com/article/index.php?story_id=10300A4P3C18
        Or, just google this topic ” New Major Phone Vulnerability Found – Top Tech News ” or this: ” German researchers discover a flaw that could let anyone listen to your cell calls. ”
        ….in case it could be useful to know what they say on the side.
        Good luck!

  42. Doc, first let say that I always enjoyed reading your valuable insights and explanation about F1 and medicine. Unbelievable that this moron is conspiring to get you fired. It’s sickening to read that story and I always wonder what kind of broken systems brings such scumbags to the top level management and let them stay there.

    Hang in there, don’t back off! I’m not a lawyer, but it sounds like there’s a case in your favor. Hope it will backfire badly on them.

    Keep up your great work in your blog and on twitter. Lots of people are behind you and have your back. Have a great holiday season!

  43. You did accuse the Schumacher management of being cynical and deceitful regarding their statements.

    Not a nice thing to say in the circumstances. It was, at best, unnecessary.

    Perhaps you too could have backed off?

    • One can always back off.

      The insistence not on decorum and factuality but on SILENCE, FROM EVERYONE, was unseemly.

      And if I understand correctly, I said something someone considers “not nice in the circumstances”. This then justifies interfering in my employment? WITH MY FUCKING JOB??? Sorry Tamb, but what these oh-how-i-wish-they-made-comedy-movies jokers did was an utter outrage.

      • What the hell does the FIA have to do with retired Michael Schumacher’s skiing accident in the first place?

        Or was that fake email intended to be some sort of damning “evidence” of confidentiality breach?

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