Sailing: Investigations into scandal threatens Oracle's America's Cup defence

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – An international jury on Monday began hearings into what could be one of the biggest scandals in the 162-year history of the America’s Cup.

The panel, meeting in San Francisco, is investigating defending champion Oracle Team USA for illegally modifying two of three prototype boats it sailed in four warm-up regattas last year and earlier this year.

The jury held a hearing Monday for Oracle Team USA employees being investigated under Rule 69 of the Racing Rules of Sailing, which deals with gross misconduct. That hearing is expected to continue on Tuesday.

The syndicate itself faces a hearing on Thursday dealing with Protocol Article 60, which is aimed at protecting the reputation of the America’s Cup.

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