Team NZ axe contractor over leaking 'defamatory and inaccurate' allegations
Emirates Team New Zealand, the defender of sailing's blue riband America's Cup, has sacked a contractor after “highly defamatory and inaccurate” allegations about America's Cup Event, the body organising next year's competition, were spread, triggering government questions over “financial and structural matters.”
Team NZ said suspicions that there were “informants” in the ACE organisation were confirmed when leaked information came back to them from Europe.
It added: “The motives of the informants who had access to the Team New Zealand base can only be guessed at. In addition, these people have made highly defamatory and inaccurate allegations ... These allegations are entirely incorrect. As a result, the contract of the informants has been terminated.”
Grant Dalton, managing director of Team NZ, said he was "flabbergasted" by the contractor's actions.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the New Zealand government agency responsible for the America’s Cup, confirmed it had been made aware of the allegations, which included "claims around structural and financial matters."
Team NZ added: “MBIE have no choice but to investigate despite our belief that the motives of the informants are extremely suspect.”
The 36th America’s Cup will start in Auckland in January with a regatta involving four challengers from Italy, the UK and USA. The winner will face Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup next March.