Valtteri Bottas and his girlfriend, professional cyclist Tiffany Cromwell, have been exonerated in an investigation regarding a potential breach of Finland’s COVID-19 lockdown regulations in 2020. The Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reports that the incident involved Cromwell, an Australian citizen, entering Finland with Bottas during a time when only Finnish citizens were permitted entry.
Lasse Kerkela, a correspondent for the newspaper, detailed the incident which occurred at the peak of the pandemic lockdowns. Cromwell accompanied Bottas on a private plane that landed at Helsinki-Vantaa airport in March 2020. The situation came to light following an anonymous report submitted to the Border Guard’s internal ethics channel, prompting a legal inquiry into whether Cromwell received special treatment.
However, after a thorough review of the case, Helsingin Sanomat reveals that neither Cromwell nor Bottas were suspected of any misconduct. The investigation, based on the border authority’s documents, was unable to conclusively determine the sequence of events within its operations. It was noted, though, that a shift manager claimed the top management of the Border Guard had ordered Cromwell’s admission into the country.
Markku Hassinen, the deputy chief of the border guard, strongly refuted any allegations of improper conduct, asserting that he did not act “incorrectly or fraudulently.” The Finnish ministry of the interior, addressing the challenges in the investigation, stated that the reliance on verbal information partly hampered the process.
With no evidence of wrongdoing found, the case has been closed, and no further actions will be taken against Bottas and Cromwell.