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Alinghi crew member banned two years for positive drug test

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Four-time America's Cup winner Simon Daubney was banned for two years Thursday after testing positive for cocaine ahead of Team Alinghi's victory last year.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which asked for the 49-year-old New Zealander to be suspended.

Cup officials originally had cleared him after he denied knowingly taking the drug.

A CAS panel of three lawyers ruled Thursday that the America's Cup jury was wrong to decide Daubney was not at fault for the presence of cocaine in his doping sample.

In a statement, CAS said cup organizers "did not adopt anti-doping rules consistent with the World Anti-Doping Code."

"The objective presence of cocaine metabolites in Mr. Daubney's urine samples is undisputed," the panel said. "Daubney has not established that he bears no significant fault or negligence."

Daubney tested positive before racing began in last year's America's Cup at Valencia, Spain, the first failed doping test in the 157-year history of the competition.

He was a trimmer with the Swiss-based Alinghi crew which went on to beat Team New Zealand 5-2 to retain the trophy.

Daubney was told about the positive test 10 days after racing ended and left the Alinghi team two months later.

Alinghi's victory in the 32nd America's Cup is not affected by Daubney's suspension because he was judged as an individual athlete.

The cup jury's decision to exonerate him had been supported by the Swiss Olympic Association and British-based International Sailing Federation, prompting an appeal by WADA.

Daubney's suspension was backdated to July 14, 2007, and runs until next July.

He has been a member of the winning crew at the last four America's Cup events. He joined Alinghi in 2003 after being on the Team New Zealand crew in 1995 and 2000.