Olympic cheats


The ISAF President believes some Olympic sailors are blatantly cheating.
ISAF President Paul Henderson has put the cat amongst the pigeons by speaking out against "rampant cheating" in Olympic sailing. Henderson has opened a debate on the ISAF website after he personally observed sailors blatantly disregarding the propulsion and weight jacket rules stipulated in the Racing Rules of Sailing at the Miami and Hyeres multi Olympic class regattas this season. But Henderson believes the root of the problem, why rules are being pushed and the line over stepped, is due to financial incentives and rewards given by national governing bodies. "Most countries now pay competitors bonuses for how they do on the Olympic regatta circuit and where they place on the ISAF ranking list. Coaches are also hired and are rewarded by how well their sailors finish," he says. "That is not the case in Britain," replied RYA Racing Manager John Derbyshire in an interview with madfor sailing today, immediately setting the record straight. "No British sport that is Lottery funded receives performance bonuses for either their athletes or coaches." "I don’t accept that governing bodies are pushing their sailors to infringe the rules," continues Derbyshire, who led the successful British team at the last Olympic Games and was personal coach to Laser gold medallist Ben Ainslie. "I have no doubt that individual sailors may use opportunities at less well policed regattas to get up the ranking list and into funding squads in their national teams or to qualify for places for the world championship where they might get into national teams." Henderson’s real gripe is with Rule 42. He believes there is "complete disrespect for the propulsion rule". One particular instance Henderson draws an example from is the men’s singlehanded fleet at Hyeres. "The Finn was totally out of control and I went and yelled at the top competitors who admitted

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