World Sailing has released their report on the matter of a disciplinary process against Spanish sailor Iker Martinez.
On 2 August, Martinez’s boat, ESP 70, was inspected in accordance with ER 4.1. During the inspection, the maximum distance that the daggerboard bearing could move (between the back of the bearing and the front of the worm drive), was measured to be 79.5mm on both hulls.
Following a review process, and having carried out checks against a reference sample of 45 boats, the jury found that ESP 70 had revealed a deviation significantly greater than permitted by the manufacturing tolerances under the class rules. As ESP 70 did not comply with the Nacra 17 class rules, a DNE penalty for race 1 was applied because the breach was, in the jury’s opinion, deliberate. ESP 70 did not complete equipment inspection and the subsequent registration so did not sail at the Championships.
The jury reported the matter to the Event Disciplinary Investigating Officer (EDIO). Following an investigation carried out by the EDIO at the event, the EDIO charged Martinez with misconduct under RRS 69 and a hearing took place before the International Jury.
Following the hearing, the International Jury found that it was comfortably satisfied that Martinez deliberately modified ESP 70 in breach of the class rules and concealed the modification and therefore had committed a breach of good sportsmanship. Further, the jury found that Martinez did not tell the truth to the EDIO or the International Jury and was therefore in breach of good sportsmanship and had committed unethical behaviour.
The jury deemed that a significant penalty was appropriate however, given the limited range of penalties available at the time, they excluded Martinez from the venue and revoked his accreditation.
The decision was reported to World Sailing under RRS 69.2 (j)(2) and World Sailing Regulation 35.4.7.
The DIO has been presented with a statement from a third party, affirmed before a notary public, that they carried out the modifications to ESP 70 and not Mr Martinez.
Having considered this further evidence, the DIO concluded that further action was not warranted because it was likely the Independent Panel appointed to consider further charges would not be comfortably satisfied that a case for further disciplinary action had been made out.
This decision is independent of the International Jury’s decision, which considered the issues at the event and not the question of further disciplinary action.
Following this decision, World Sailing’s Board of Directors has requested the Executive Office to appoint a review group to examine improvements in the investigation and prosecution of equipment cheating, the use of discretionary penalties for equipment infringements, and the consequences for sailors who present boats at inspection which do not comply with the rules.
The Board of Directors has also affirmed its position that owners and persons in charge must be held responsible for the actions of those who work for them. The review group will report to the Board of Directors by May 2019.