New Zealander Simon Daubney has been banned for two years after testing positive to cocaine while sailing for defenders Alinghi in last year’s America’s Cup.
The ban, handed down on Friday by the international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, was backdated and will end next July.
Daubney, 49, is understood to be overseas, while an Alinghi spokesman said the syndicate would issue a statement about the CAS decision.
The genoa trimmer was tested on June 23, 2007, the day of the opening race of Alinghi’s cup match with Team New Zealand.
Last September, an America’s Cup jury found that a drug violation had occurred.
But it cleared Daubney, who believed he had been the victim of a spiked drink bought for him by people still upset as his defection from Team NZ seven years earlier.
However, the World Anti-Doping Agency appealed to the CAS, seeking a two-year ban.
A CAS panel of three lawyers from Germany, Italy and Switzerland heard the case last month.
The panel ruled that the CAS could not recognise the America’s Cup jury’s decision because cup organisers did not adopt rules that were consistent with the World Anti-Doping Code.
It found that the presence of cocaine metabolites in Daubney’s urine was not disputed.
It said a two-year ban for a first offence could not be reduced or avoided because Daubney had not established that he bore no fault of negligence.
Because Daubney was an individual athlete, the CAS decision did not affect Alinghi’s 5-2 victory over Team New Zealand.
Daubney has been a member of the last four America’s Cup-winning crews, beginning with Team New Zealand in 1995 and 2000.
After the 2000 regatta, he and five other Team New Zealand sailors, including skipper Russell Coutts and tactician Brad Butterworth, jumped ship and joined Alinghi, helping the Swiss syndicate to win the cup in 2003.
Coutts later quit Alinghi, but the rest of the group were back on deck in last year’s victory over Team New Zealand.
When the positive test was announced, Daubney said he believed “a small unruly element” who opposed his switch to Alinghi were behind a spiked drink given to him.
He told the America’s Cup jury that he had been subjected to considerable personal harassment over his move.