Alinghi's Simon Daubney issues a statement confirming that he was tested positive during the America's Cup. Matthew Sheahan reports

 Just hours after the news broke that an Alinghi crewmember had tested positive, the team posted a statement from Simon Daubney, a key sailing team member and trimmer during their hard fought win earlier this year.

According to his statement the test was taken on 23 June, the first day of the America’s Cup. While his statement doesn’t indicate what substance he was found to test positive for, it does state that the substance was a ‘recreational drug’, supporting the initial speculation that cannabis was involved.

The news comes at a particularly difficult time for the team as the clock counts down towards a court case that could have the entire event hanging in the balance as the New York Supreme Court assesses whether the Spanish Challenge is a valid one. The hearing is due to take place on the 22 October and while the legal issues are prepared, Alinghi has been keen to be seen to be offering an olive branch to Ellison and the Golden Gate Yacht Club.

Meanwhile, Alinghi has the additional task of working with the existing Challengers to create a new rule for the new 90 footers that will race for the next America’s Cup as well as the structure for the next event – no mean task.

All this, while delicate negotiations are being made with the host city Valencia about what, when and how much. Today’s news will only add to the pressure.

The full statement from Daubney as posted on the Alinghi web site reads:

(London, 27 September 2007) “Yesterday I went before the five-man 32nd America’s Cup Jury in London regarding a positive doping test taken on 23 June 2007. While Anti Doping Norway did find traces of a recreational drug in the urine sample, the Jury found that there was no fault or negligence on my behalf. This comes as a relief to me as I have never knowingly taken a banned substance however, until this matter is completely resolved, I have resigned from Alinghi, so that they can go about their business without distraction. I hope to return to the team once my name is cleared.

I was found in breach of the America’s Cup Anti Doping Rules after a routine urine test taken by Anti Doping Norway on 23 June 2007. The urine sample returned a positive test for a recreational drug on 13 July 2007. Then the B sample returned a positive result on the 8 August.

I have been bound by confidentiality rules up until now and want to take this opportunity to thank Alinghi and my family and friends for their enormous support during this extremely difficult time. I have done everything in my power to prove that I have never knowingly taken a banned substance of any type and to this end underwent and passed a polygraph test conducted by the UK and European Polygraph Association. I am heartened and relieved that the Jury agrees with my contention that I was a victim of contamination and or drink spiking.”

Brad Butterworth, Alinghi team skipper comments: “It was unfortunate that Simon had to go through this unpleasant experience, and both his friends and I have fully supported him from the outset. We welcome the Jury findings that there ‘was no fault or negligence on behalf of Simon’. He is a valued team member and close friend and we feel for him and his family having endured this difficult time. Alinghi does wish to make clear that the team in no way condones the use of any drugs.” End.