LONDON -- Formula One's governing body is keeping its distance from sexual allegations in a British tabloid newspaper about its president, Max Mosley.
"This is a matter between Mr. Mosley and the paper in question," an International Automobile Federation (FIA) spokesman said.
"We understand that Mr. Mosley's lawyers are now in contact with that newspaper and the FIA has no comment."
The News of the World reported in a front-page story that FIA president Mosley, 67, had taken part in a "sadomasochistic orgy" with five prostitutes that reportedly involved Nazi role-playing.
According to a story posted by the London-based Times Online on Monday, Mosley and others "re-enacted a concentration camp scene in which he played the role of both guard and inmate."
A video was also reportedly posted on the News of the World Web site. A check of the site Monday didn't find the video in question.
The News of the World printed pictures of a man who appeared to be Mosley, chained over a "torture" bench while being caned by a woman, and said that the acts took place in an apartment near Mosley's London home on Friday.
British media reports said Mosley paid 2,500 British pounds, which is a little less than $5,000, according to Monday's conversion rates.
Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone told at least one London newspaper that Mosley's job was not in jeopardy.
"I find it difficult to believe. It's his business but it sounds to me like a set-up. Has he in any way damaged F1? No," he told the Daily Mail.
Later Monday, the Times Online reported that sources close to Mosley said he wouldn't resign.
Jewish leaders in Great Britain condemned Mosley.
"This is sick and depraved," Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said, according to Times Online. " ... I am absolutely appalled."
Stephen Smith, director of the Holocaust Centre, said: "As Mr. Mosley has condemned the racism in motorsport he should live up to the standards he sets. This is an insult to millions of victims, survivors and their families. He should apologize. He should resign from the sport."
Mosley is the son of the late Oswald Mosley, founder of the pre-war British Union of Fascists. Mosley is married with two sons. He has been president of the FIA since 1993.
Information from Reuters contributed to this report