A sniff of scandal in Valencia
Alinghi trimmer Simon Daubney’s comment ‘I have never knowingly taken banned substances’, after testing positive in a drugs test in June has been causing quite a stir.
Everyone seems to be presuming the substance being discussed is cannabis. I suppose it’s a pretty democratic fall from grace these days when even members of HM Government are able to confess with impunity to having had the odd toke.
However, according to the New Zealand Herald, the drug to which Daubney tested positive was cocaine.
Daubney has said he believes a drink must have been spiked by ‘an unruly element’ the previous week who opposed his move from Team NZ to Alinghi. The jury accepted that.
However, what we do now know (as if we couldn’t have guessed) is that there is cocaine in America’s Cup circles in Valencia. That’s just great, isn’t it? The cleanest of sports is tainted by money, politics, big egos and now by Class A drugs.
Oh well, you know the old joke: cocaine is God’s way of telling you that you’re being paid too much.
You may recall that in 2003, the footballer Mark Bosnich was suspended for 9 months for testing positive for cocaine. Mark used the spiked drink defence too and allegedly had a statement of admission from the person who did the spiking. Generally the athlete is fully responsible for what’s in their system.
The ACC jury’s conclusion is strange. There is no evidence that Simon’s drink was spiked. There does not appear to be any evidence supporting the existence of the ‘ha ha’ note. Yet they unanimously decided that Simon was not at fault.
As for the Team New Zealand exodus, it was 7 years ago now. Can Simon really convince us that someone (presumably a Kiwi) is still that upset with him?
Can you imagine a Tour de France cyclist being exonerated from a positive test for, say, amphetamines just because they claimed their drink was spiked and their teammates said they’re a nice guy?
Obviously I have no way to know the truth one way or another, but the rapid dismissal of the case seems naïve at least.Andrew Aldridge