Grant Dalton: "Highly Orchestrated Attack" Against Emirates Team New Zealand
by Miranda Blazeby
Emirates Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton has dismissed claims made against New Zealand’s America’s Cup Challenger team as a “deliberate, sinister and highly orchestrated attack.”
The allegations made by former event contractors accusing the team of mishandling public money and depositing money into a Hungarian bank account is “a textbook case of international reputational damage 101", according to Dalton.
He said the allegations include “anonymous tip-offs, recordings and document leaks” that have been used to form “unfair accusations”.
Dalton added that even once the allegations have been proven wrong, the “reputational damage is done.”
Dalton claimed those responsible wanted to sabotage New Zealand’s America’s Cup challenger team.
“All this at a time when every hour counts as we try to focus on delivering a great event and defending the America’s Cup. The timing has been very well considered to take our attention off these vital objectives.”
He added that the team is actively working with the government and project partners to aid the investigation into the informants’ allegations.
“All we want to do it defend this America’s Cup successfully in March 2021 and showcase to the world what an amazing country we have through a successfully run and broadcast event,” he said.
It comes after Emirates Team New Zealand said it had discovered and dismissed a number of “informants” responsible for infiltrating America’s Cup Event (ACE) earlier this week.
Emirates Team New Zealand said suspicions that the event organisation had been infiltrated were raised six months ago.
“Suspicions were confirmed when we had confidential and sensitive information coming back to us from Europe,” the team said in a statement.
It is alleged those responsible also made “highly defamatory and inaccurate allegations regarding financial and structural matters against ACE, ETNZ and its personnel”.