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America's Cup- Mitchell fires new salvo at ISAF Jury Officials

by Richard Gladwell/ NZL on 5 Feb 2015
18 months after the conclusion of the 34th America’’s Cup legal action continues to embroil some of the individuals involved and Jury Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA
Matthew Mitchell, previously a member of Oracle Team USA, has issued a media release advising that he has filed complaints of Gross Misconduct against all five Americas Cup jury members with the sport's International governing body (ISAF).

This action follows on from his recent claims about the actions of another team member Simeon Tienpont, now with Challenger Luna Rossa.

Mitchell's claims focus on the International Jury not taking action against Tienpont, who admitted being involved in instances where boat weight was added to three AC45 catamarans used in the America's Cup World Series leading up to the 34th America's Cup.

Five members of the Oracle Team USA were named by the Int Jury. A sixth had his name and details suppressed. One of the five was let off with no further action by the Jury. The other four were suspended from the regatta and subjected to further consideration by the International Sailing Federation.

The World body suspended one of the five for a period, since reduced by the Court for Arbitration for Sport to 18 months, which was due to complete in February 2015.

In his statement Mitchell claims the 'Jury members were selectively negligent and that he was unwittingly used as a pawn in OTUSA’s quest to defend the Cup against ETNZ.'

'The disruption to Mitchell’s family, and himself, has been monumental', the statement says.

He notes that ISAF recently ruled a close to his case, due partially to the fact that the suspension set by CAS in a related Hearing was set at 2 years, and that any suspension levied on Mitchell would be less than this period and therefore already passed.

In a report commissioned by Mitchell's own national sailing authority, Yachting New Zealand’s in April of last year, YNZ recommended no action and queried some of the actions of the International Jury.

Mitchell's latest statement says he is 'now embarking on an indefatigable quest to bring the real perpetrators to account.'

'I have at all times told the truth during this episode and placed my reliance in the ISAF and ACIJ process to establish the facts. As competitors we are faced with no alternative but to trust in the administrators of our sport to adjudicate without bias' Mitchell says. In this regard the ACIJ failed completely,' he concludes.

Copies of the individual complaints against the five Jury members were also appended to the statement and these are claimed to have been filed with the International Sailing Federation for investigation and action.

No comment has been made by the ISAF, however the issue is expected to be discussed at its Executive Committee meeting in the next week or two.

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