Sailor wins reduction in ban for cheating at 2013 America's Cup

America's Cup sailor Dirk de Ridder receives reduced suspension for adding improper ballast

The sailor at the center of a 2013 America's Cup cheating incident has won a reduction in his three-year ban from the sport.

Dirk de Ridder, who trimmed the wing sail on the champion Oracle Team USA boat in 2013, had his suspension reduced to 18 months, the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced on Thursday.

While the court found the Danish sailor was involved in adding improper ballast, it called the three-year penalty "disproportionate in light of the circumstances of the case and compared to previous sanctions imposed by the sailing federation in similar matters."

It was just before the September 2013 finals when Oracle Team USA was hit with the harshest penalty in America's Cup history.

The sanctions addressed misbehavior by team members in a series of pre-Cup races dating to 2012. The team added too much weight to two of the three boats it raced in those events.

An international jury expelled two shore crew members in addition to de Ridder. Grinder Matt Mitchell was barred from the first four races and sailor Kyle Langford was given a warning.

Randy Coutts, the team's chief executive, criticized the sanctions, calling the improper modifications a "ridiculous mistake."



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