The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has raised concerns regarding two of the candidates in the World Sailing Presidential election, warning the committee overseeing the upcoming vote that the allegations against them are potentially damaging to the organisation.
In comments relayed in an email from IOC vice-president Ng Ser Miang to the World Sailing Election Committee and attributed to Pâquerette Girard
The email, seen by insidethegames, refers directly to three World Sailing Ethics Commission cases involving Andersen and the fact Perry is banned from entering the United States.
The potentially crucial intervention from the IOC comes prior to the start of voting in the four-way Presidential tussle, which also includes Spaniard Gerardo Seeliger and Chinese vice-president Quanhai Li, on Friday (October 9).
Uruguayan Perry has admitted he cannot enter the US but claims he does not know the full reasons why and that his legal team are trying to find out.
Zappelli warned Perry's status in the US "might be difficult to manage pragmatically for the International Federation [World Sailing] as the American athletes are an important team and numerous competitions are organised in the US, including the upcoming  Olympic Games in Los Angeles" if he is elected.
Andersen, elected President of the International Federation in 2016, had been issued with a warning by the World Sailing Ethics Commission for "abusing" the signatures of two of its vice-presidents Perry and Gary Jobson.
The Dane hit back and criticised the conduct of the Ethics Commission, arguing the appointment of Andorra's Josep Pla, President of the European Sailing Federation, as ethics officer was "clearly not independent or impartial".
A contract Andersen - who denies wrongdoing and has accused the Commission of "questionable actions" - signed with Burson Cohn & Wolfe, then called TSE Consulting, is also the subject of an Ethics Commission investigation, according to the Seilmagasinet publication.
The World Sailing President "facing three consecutive issues brought to the Ethics Commission...might tarnish the reputation of WS (World Sailing)," Zappelli said, according to the email from Ser Miang.
Zappelli concludes by saying: "It would be good that the WS Election Commission bring to the attention of the National Federations the importance for WS to maintain its standards of good governance especially by protecting its reputation."
The IOC official also insisted the organisation "is not in a position to interfere in an IF’s election process".
World Sailing chief executive David Graham told insidethegames the organisation "has had no formal communication from the IOC about the upcoming World Sailing Presidential elections".
"Nor would I expect any, as the IOC [of course] treat World Sailing like any other Federation, as an independent body, and expect the members to make that decision in a well governed process, which is what we are doing," Graham said.
The comments from Zappelli appear less direct, and less formal, than when the IOC told Gafur Rakhimov in September 2018 that his candidacy for International Boxing Association (AIBA) President jeopardised the body's place at the Olympic Games.
Rakhimov, who has been accused of involvement in heroin trafficking, was elected AIBA President two months later and the organisation was suspended as the Olympic governing body for the sport in June 2019.
The first round of voting in the World Sailing election is scheduled to start on October 9 and conclude on October 16.
If no candidate secures a majority, there would then be a run-off between the top two, with the winner scheduled to be announced at a virtual conference on November 1.
With the first round looking set to be keenly contested, assuming that all four men make it to the start-line, a scramble to get into the decisive run-off may well be in prospect.
insidethegames has approached Andersen, Perry and the World Sailing Election Committee for comment.